Accident in Central European Rally ends hopes of claiming WRC crown.
Succumbing to the difficult conditions on day three of the Central European Rally, Elfyn’s 2023 WRC championship challenge came to an end after the slid off the road and damaged his GR Yaris Rally1.
He had been locked in a battle for the podium places and was beginning to close the gap on rally leader Kalle Rovanperra, who he needed to finish ahead of to ensure the title fight went down to the final round.
The Central European Rally was the first time a WRC event had been held across three different countries, with action in Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Rain on the stages on the first two days, coupled with mud from corner cutting and greasy asphalt sections, saw pretty much every driver have a moment or slide at some point. Elfyn had a solid start on the opening day’s stages in the Czech Republic, using his road position to best effect to end Friday in third place.
When Rovanperra slid off the road temporarily on Saturday morning, dropping around 20 seconds, it opened the door for Elfyn to challenge. But he was then caught out on a greasy right hand corner, with his car understeering off the road and colliding with a barn.
The damage meant he was forced to retire for the car but returned on Sunday to claim all five additional points as winner of the Power Stage.
However, it wasn’t enough to keep the title fight alive and Rovanperra was able to claim his second consecutive WRC title.
The final round takes place at Rally Japan on 17-19 November, home event for Elfyn’s Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team.