Ypres Rally Belgium - 2nd Day - 1st Loop: Neuville still leads as drama continues [+photo]

At the end of the morning loop of the second day of Ypres Rally Belgium, Thierry Neuville continues to lead his home event with Craig Breen and Elfyn Evans following.

Thierry Neuville remains in the lead of Ypres Rally Belgium, but he lost time in comparison with the second Craig Breen as he was too cautious with the cuts trying to avoid them in the aim not to clip any puncture. Moreover, he set the fastest time in Stage 12 and he managed to increase his gap a little bit after his time loss.

Breen comes right behind him setting the fastest time in SS9 and in SS10 and he reduced his gap from the leader Neuville. Their gap is at 6,8 seconds after Stage 12.

Elfyn Evans climbed in third position after Stage 9, but he was still struggling in the juctions. The Welsh driver was the first driver who broke the dominance of Hyundai as he set the fastest time in Stage 11.

Kalle Rovanpera is fourth and he was trying to avoid any unnecessary risk and to act wise in the stages. His margin from his teammate, Evans, is at 2,1 seconds. 

Sebastien Ogier completes the top five and he lost time in Stage 11 as he skipped SS10 and his tyres were cold for SS11. Specifically, he had to wait 25 minutes to start in SS11 while he had a moment in a fast section of this stage.

Ott Tanak dropped from third to sixth position after suffering from a puncture in Stage 9 when he clipped something after a corner. He and his co-driver, Martin Jarveoja, stopped in the stage to change the wheel, but they lost further time as the jack was broken. They lost almost three minutes after that incident.

Pierre-Louis Loubet was eighth at the end of Stage 8, but he went off the road into a ditch in the first stage of Saturday and he was unable to continue for the rest of the day despite the fact that a number of spectators tried to help him.

Takamoto Katsuta was seventh after the end of Friday's evening loop, but he had a massive crash in SS10. Specifically, he slided wide with the rear of his Yaris after a right hander and as a result of that he had a contact with some bushes and after that his car started rolling. His Yaris was heavily damaged and it landed into a ditch.

Gus Greensmith restarted today under the regulations of Rally2 after his retirement on Friday and he is outside the top ten, but the problems did not stop for the British driver as he faced intercom problems in this loop. Chris Patterson, the co-driver of Greensmith, was forced to do hand signals to the last one so that they can continue safely in the stages.

Adrien Fourmaux was forced to retire for the rest of the race as the mechanics of M-Sport Ford were not able to repair his Fiesta after his massive crash on Friday.

The Stage 10 was cancelled at the start by the organisers due to the Katsuta's crash as there is an electricity pole blocking the road, but they decided to restart it. It must be mentioned that Sebastien Ogier started this stage in road mode before the organisers decide to restart the stage, so he was given notional stage time and he received the time Elfyn Evans set.

About the tyre choices for this morning loop, Ogier/Tanak/Neuville/Katsuta/Evans/Rovanpera/Breen have chosen 6 hard compounds while Greensmith has chosen 2 hard and 4 soft compounds. Finally, Loubet wore to this car 4 hard and 2 soft tyres.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after SS12:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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