Final-day charge powers Elfyn to podium

WRC star finds the speed to push leader to the limit in Ypres Rally Belgium.

Elfyn claimed his third podium from four events on round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship at Ypres Rally Belgium. After a thrilling final-day charge for victory, Elfyn finished in second place at the wheel of his hybrid-powered Toyota GR Yaris rally car, just five seconds adrift of rally winner Ott Tanak.

The event had been a nip and tuck battle right from the opening day on Friday, with the top three never more than a few seconds apart. Elfyn had held the rally lead for most of the opening day, pushing hard through the narrow asphalt roads in the Flanders region despite not being entirely happy with the car set-up.

But the afternoon loop threw up some time-consuming problems after a damaged tyre forced him to use an odd wet patterned tyre for two stages and a timing error meant he collected a 10 second time penalty. He pushed through Saturday’s longest day, slowly closing the gap to the drivers ahead and moving back into the fight for victory.

Starting the final day chasing an 8.2 second deficit to the rally leader, a few overnight set-up changes helped him set a string of fastest times on Sunday. But the nature of the stages meant there wasn’t enough time to be had and the final gap reduced to just 5.0 seconds by the finish.

However, it was another strong podium finish with a good haul of championship points – and another double podium result for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team.

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