Rally GB Pace Report

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Rally GB Quick Recap

Ott Tanak took the widely-expected win at Rally GB although not with the great margin many would have assumed. The rally was very close for much of the way with several drivers posting top times when nearly all were pushing hard. Thierry Neuville finished marginally behind Tanak after leapfrogging Sebastien Ogier who finished third.

Elfyn Evans could have had a shot at the top spot, and certainly a podium place had it not been for an incident on SS3 Penmachno which cost him time. Ultimately he had to fight back to finish 5th. Kris Meeke led the rally for the early part of Friday until his teammate Ott Tanak took the lead. This was probably part of the plan once his other teammate Jari-Matti Latvala had to retire from the rally due to a damaging crash on SS7 Penmachno 2. Meeke did not take the fight to Neuville and Ogier and took a firm 4th.

Andreas Mikkelsen played his usual safe-finish role to 6th overall but was pipped by a flying Elfyn Evans on the final day. Pontus Tidemand also had an incident free approach which paid off with a 7th place finish. Craig Breen on only his second WRC start of the year finished 8th but could have beaten his teammate. A roll on SS5 ruined his Saturday but not his rally.

Esapekka Lappi was the only retiree to restart after crashing out. A good Power Stage run and manufacturer points were consolation. Teemu Suninen and Jari-Matti Latvala both had accidents that damaged their roll cages beyond repair.

See the full results at wrc.com. Also check out the profile of the stages at rally-maps.com.

Chart showing High, low and overall places for the WRC field.
Highest, Lowest and Overall Classifications at Rally GB for top 10 + WRC.

Key Rally GB Points

Biggest Stage Win (To 2nd)

Ott Tanak – SS9 Dyfnant 2. Over this 19.36km course Ott was an average 0.294s/km quicker than second place Andreas Mikkelsen.

Consider Tanak also won the first pass of Dyfnant. Seven other cars finished within that same gap of 0.294s/km. On the second run Tanak improved his time by just 0.8 seconds over the 19.36km.

Some drivers struggled with the fading light, including Thierry Neuville who claimed it hadn’t affected Tanak as much even though he started just 6 minutes earlier. Even though these are the finest of margins, the drivers acknowledge their importance in the modern WRC.

Graph of all driver's pace and stage length.
Rally GB Pace Analysis. Stage lengths (x) multiplied by pace (y) = total time lost. Stage wins are at 0.0.

Biggest Stage Win (To the ‘Group’/Average)

Excluding super specials: Elfyn Evans – SS19 Brenig 1. The rehearsal for the Power Stage ran 2s faster for Elfyn than it did for Ott Tanak in the main show. It’s true some drivers would have been taking it easy, such as Mikkelsen who ceded position to Elfyn here.

Excluding Short Sunday: Elfyn Evans & Jari-Matti Latvala – SS5 Aberhirnant 1. These two drivers must have had more guts, determination and sight of the grip than the average WRC drive through here. And at an average speed of 109kph nearing the fastest stage too.

Fastest Stage Winner

Ott Tanak – SS18 Alwen 1. It is a familiar staple of Rally GB so all drivers should be able to attack equally. On this pass of the 10.41km test Tanak’s average was 114.85km/h.

Screenshot of Tanak onboard of Alwen 1 at Rally GB.
Ott Tanak reaching 179kph on SS18 Alwen 1 at Rally GB.
Screenshot of Tanak onboard of Alwen 1 at Rally GB.
Taking a blind right-hander at 139kph. Screenshots from plus.wrc.com

Award for Managed Pace

Though Kris Meeke deserves credit for restraint at the top the award goes to Pontus Tidemand who finished more places above his expected position. Both drivers were incident free and could have given a little more but both could have binned it.

Rally GB Pace Report Cards

O. Tanak & M. Jarveoja / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 3:00:58.0
  • Expected Classification (xC): 1st
  • Average Pace: +0.153s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.50%
  • Stage Wins: 7/22
  • Points: 30
  • Power Stage: 1st
  • Best Pace: Very strong all rally again, dropped just 46.7s to scratch times yet only won 7 stages. One of these was another Power Stage win for max championship points. This 99.5% score made it his second fastest rally of the season after Rally Finland.
  • Notable Time Loss: Stalled on one of the very first corners of the rally at Oulton Park dropping about 10 seconds. Shock all round! Twice cited electrical/lights problems which though didn’t directly affect performance, may have nagged confidence.

T. Neuville & N. Gilsoul / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 3:01:08.9 (+0:00:10.9)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 4th
  • Average Pace: +0.189s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.39%
  • Stage Wins: 3/22
  • Points: 19
  • Power Stage: 4th
  • Best Pace: Very fast all rally, still setting good times even when not winning stages. Came out on top in the battle with Ogier on Super Saturday, a position he kept on Sunday. Also finished within an 11 second sniff of Tanak on a rally the Estonian was expected to blitz. 99.39% is Thierry’s best RTR score this season, even better than his wins.
  • Notable Time Loss: Wasn’t comfortable having to push hard on Friday’s tricky stages, not helped by a puncture on SS6 which had to be managed. The soft tyre choice wasn’t the best for the night stages either.

S. Ogier & J. Ingrassia / Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 3:01:21.8 (+0:00:23.8)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.231s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.25%
  • Stage Wins: 2/22
  • Points: 19
  • Power Stage: 2nd
  • Best Pace: Great all weekend with no major mishaps. The two stages he won were the repeats of the two slowest stages of the rally – not where one would expect the Citroen C3 to be strongest. Saturday afternoon was his best loop, with the Power Stage run also very good to score vital bonus points.
  • Notable Time Loss: Also struggled on the tricky mixed-grip levels of Aberhirnant. Must have been told on Sunday morning to accept 3rd rather than fight Thierry Neuville for 2nd. The first pass of Brenig was his worst time relative to scratch.
Chart analysing time loss for each WRC driver at Rally GB.
Rally GB Pace chart showing where the time was lost for each driver. This shows the rally was a close one for the majority of the WRC drivers.

K. Meeke & S. Marshall / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 3:01:33.6 (+0:00:35.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.270s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.13%
  • Stage Wins: 1/22
  • Points: 12
  • Power Stage: 7th
  • Best Pace: Friday morning was best from the word go. Led the rally for a few stages but times became slower.
  • Notable Time Loss: Unfortunate victim of Jari-Matti Latvala’s crash. After this point on SS6 Kris Meeke will have to drive with a little more caution with the aim of guaranteeing manufacturer points.

E. Evans & S. Martin / Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time: 3:01:46.6 (+0:00:48.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 2nd
  • Average Pace: +0.312s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.99%
  • Stage Wins: 7/22
  • Points: 12
  • Power Stage: 4th
  • Best Pace: Super Saturday was near faultless. Lost just 14.9s all day to scratch times and only won 3/7 himself. Grabbed stage wins on both other days too, pushing his xC to 2nd. Like Neuville, Rally GB was Evans’ best performance of the season by RTR.
  • Notable Time Loss: Possibly damaged the car on a hot moment over a crest and into the bank of a right hander on SS3 Penmachno. Somehow lost 43.3s to scratch on this stage. When he finished the rally 48.6s behind the winner, this will be considered another “what could have been” rally for Elfyn.

A. Mikkelsen & A. Jaeger / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 6th
  • Time: 3:01:56.2 (+0:00:58.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 6th
  • Average Pace: +0.344s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.89%
  • Stage Wins: 1/22
  • Points: 8
  • Power Stage: 9th
  • Best Pace: Won SS15 Sweet Lamb Hafren 2. A stage known so well by all drivers and at a time when all the strongest drivers were pushing or driving well.
  • Notable Time Loss: Most likely was asked to finish safely rather than fight Elfyn Evans for position through Sunday.
Chart showing stage results analysis as colours.
Stage result analysis as heatchart. Greener times are good. Red times bad. Red times on shorter stages are less damaging.

P. Tidemand & O. Floene / Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 7th
  • Time: 3:06:21.8 (+0:05:23.8)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 11th
  • Average Pace: +1.198s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 96.07%
  • Stage Wins: 0/22
  • Points: 6
  • Power Stage: 8th
  • Best Pace: Both passes of the often used training complex Sweet Lamb Hafren.
  • Notable Time Loss: None, yet improved over each day. The finish must be respected though we cannot tell how near to his own limit Pontus was.

C. Breen & P. Nagel / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 3:10:23.0 (+0:09:25.0)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 10th
  • Average Pace: +1.949s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 93.51%
  • Stage Wins: 0/22
  • Points: 4
  • Power Stage: 6th
  • Penalties: 1:00 (6 mins late at TC)
  • Best Pace: Friday morning kicked off well but had to accept COC decisions for two stages. Times dipped in the afternoon loop. The first stage of Saturday was good but the roll on the next stage may highlight this as a risky drive.
  • Notable Time Loss: Big roll on SS12 Myherin 1 lost over 5 minutes. Without a midday service times over the remainder of the day reflected the damage suffered. However he may be lucky to be able to have continued at all.

E. Lappi & J. Ferm / Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 27th
  • Time: 3:36:51.7 (+0:35:53.7)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.408s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 76.64%
  • Stage Wins: 0/22
  • Points: 3
  • Power Stage: 3rd
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road SS6)
  • Best Pace: Generally, good times across the weekend.
  • Notable Time Loss: Struggled for grip a lot and had several off road incidents. One of which, on SS6 Elsi 2 retired him from the rally. A strange off just 20 seconds into the stage considering he had wrestled the car on the first pass of the stage. 5 missed stages meant 35 minutes of penalties.

T. Suninen & J. Lehtinen / Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: DNF
  • Expected Classification (xC): 9th
  • Average Pace: +0.848s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 0%
  • Stage Wins: 0/22
  • Points: –
  • Power Stage: –
  • Retirements: 1 (Mechanical)
  • Best Pace: Friday afternoon loop was his best, both passes of Penmachno his best runs.
  • Notable Time Loss: Not at the races even by his own admission. Moments here and there were topped by a crash on SS13 Sweet Lamb Hafren 2. Though he carried on, the damage to the roll cage forced retirement at the close of play on Saturday and he did not restart.

JM. Latvala & M. Anttila / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: DNF
  • Expected Classification (xC): 8th
  • Average Pace: +0.373s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 0%
  • Stage Wins: 1/22
  • Points: –
  • Power Stage: –
  • Retirements: 1 (Off Road SS7)
  • Best Pace: Stage win on the fast and flowing SS5 Aberhirnant 1.
  • Notable Time Loss: Terminal damage after a crash on SS7 Penmachno 2.

Apologies it took so long to catch up on this rally, I was there enjoying it! If you enjoyed this post I’d really appreciate if you would rate it using the thumbs below. I’d also appreciate a share or like if you think it is of value to your networks too. Any kind of feedback, corrections or comments are welcome using the contact form or via Twitter.

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