CER - 3rd Day - 1st Loop: Neuville climbs into the lead as Evans's title hopes are over

At the end of Saturday morning, Thierry Neuville is now leading Central European Rally with Kalle Rovanpera and Ott Tanak following him.

Thierry Neuville is the new rally leader of Central European Rally after the Stage 11 and managed to outpace the last one by more than 20 seconds in SS10 as the Belgian set the fastest time there. However, he stated at the end of SS9 that he was struggling with the handling of his i20N while he was the top driver in SS11.

Kalle Rovanpera dropped to second place overall at the end of Saturday morning, but his lead was cut further at the end of Stage 10 when he had a spin on braking resulting in losing 24,7 seconds there. The Finn driver has the 2023 WRC trophy on his hands after Evans's retirement and decided to slow down in SS11 as Toyota messaged him about what happened to EE.

Ott Tanak climbed to third overall after Elfyn Evans's incident and dropped some seconds in SS10 as he put the hybrid off. Moreover, he suffered from a puncture on the road section between SS9 and SS10.

Sebastien Ogier stole the fifth place from his teammate Takamoto Katsuta at the end of SS9 while their gap was at 0,3 seconds before the start of SS10, but gained one more place after the end of SS11 and is now fourth overall.

Teemu Suninen got ahead of Katsuta at the end of SS11 and completes the top five, but their gap is at 2,3 seconds before the start of Saturday afternoon.

The Japanese driver lost two places on Saturday morning as it was difficult for him to drive on muddy conditions, but he is now sixth overall.

Gregoire Munster had an overshoot in SS9 as he was too late on the brakes, had to go straight on and pull the handbrake. He is the second-best M-Sport driver as he is in seventh position overall.

Pierre-Louis Loubet is outside the top ten and did a small mistake on a junction in SS10 as he ran wide.

Elfyn Evans was in third place overall after the end of SS10, but he was forced to retire in SS11 as he went off the road into SS11. The incident happened when he understeered into a wooden shed resulting in not being able to continue. His retirement means that his hopes to be at the fight for this year's championship are over. 

Esapekka Lappi was not able to restart today under the regulations of Super Rally as Hyundai decided to withdraw his i20N.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after SS11:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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