Rally Japan - 2nd Day - 2nd Loop: Evans distances his teammates, Neuville off the road

At the end of Friday afternoon, Elfyn Evans leads his teammates in Japan with Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera following him.

Elfyn Evans increased further his lead at Rally Japan after Thierry Neuville's retirement as his gap from the second Sebastien Ogier is at almost two minutes. Finally, he was very close to set the fastest time in Stage 6, but Katsuta denied it by beating the Welshman for 0,3 seconds.

The eight-time World Rally Champion climbed to secong place overall and he was very lucky in Stage 5 as he slid into a barrier at low speed near the finish resulting in damaging the driver's side door.

Kalle Rovanpera completes the 1-2-3 for Toyota and the road conditions were better for him in comparison with the first passes from SS2 and SS3.

Andreas Mikkelsen, Gregoire Munster and Nikolay Gryazin split the Rally1 drivers on the classification as they are fourth, fifth and sixth overall respectively.

Esapekka Lappi follows the WRC2 drivers and is in seventh place overall, but again he was out of pace with his i20N on these difficult conditions. However, he was the fastest driver in Stage 8.

Ott Tanak gained eight positions since Stage 3 and is eighth overall, but his problems continued as he faced electrical system issues with his Puma since Stage 5. More specifically, he said that he had no anti-lag and the throttle stayed on in stage mode.

Takamoto Katsuta impressed with his performance on Friday afternoon as he was the fastest driver in SS5, SS6 and SS7 showing that he had the pace to push for a better result before his spin in SS2. However, he sits at ninth place overall and is the last from the Rally1 drivers on the standings.

Thierry Neuville crashed out from the second place in Stage 6 as he understeered off the road and into a tree just 100 meters into SS6. 

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after the end of SS8:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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