Rally New Zealand - 3rd Day - 1st Loop: Rovanpera storms into NZ lead after Evans hitting a bank

At the end of the Saturday morning, Kalle Rovanpera is the new leader of Rally New Zealand with Ott Tanak and Sebastien Ogier following him.

Kalle Rovanpera is now leading Rally New Zealand after the end of SS10 as he stayed out of trouble in comparison with his rivals and set the fastest time in Stage 9.

Ott Tanak remains second overall after the 5-second time penalty he received on Friday and was not able to fight with Rovanpera for the first place as he was struggling to find confidence inside his i20N. In addition to that, he did a mistake in Stage 8 due to wrong pacenotes and dropped some seconds there.

Sebastien Ogier dropped to fourth place at the end of Stage 8, but he took advantage of Evans's mistake in Stage 9 and is now third.

Elfyn Evans is now fourth from first as he dropped 36,5 seconds in Stage 9. More specifically, he had a spin after 9.1 Km into SS9 and clouted a bank resulting in damaging heavily the rear of his Yaris while he complained of a brake issue and low water pressure. He and Scott Martin were working on their car on the road section before SS10 and they refilled the Toyota's radiator using their drinking water.

Thierry Neuville completes the top five and his fifth place was under threat by Gus Greensmith as their gap was at one second at the end of SS9. In fact, the Belgian reported a gearbox-related issue at the end of Stage 9 and he had no third gear.

Oliver Solberg climbed to sixth place overall, but he lost major time in comparison with the seventh Takamoto Katsuta in Stage 9 as the first one reported understeer. Their gap before and after SS9 was at 18.6 and 8.5 seconds respectively.

Craig Breen restarted today under the regulations of Rally2 after his retirement on Friday and was the fastest driver in Stage 8 and 10.

Gus Greensmith was sixth overall and was forced to retire in Stage 10 as he rolled his Puma on a left-hander 2 Km into the stage. After his crash, this stage was red flagged and Rovanpera will receive a notional time as he had to drive on road mode due to Greensmith's accident. Greensmith and Jonas Andersson are okay. Eventually, SS10 was cancelled and Tanak/Rovanpera/Ogier/Evans will take notional times, so their gap will be the same like at the end of SS9.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS10:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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