Rovanpera grabs Rally Croatia lead.

Kalle Rovanpera, current World Rally Championship leader initially came under pressure from Elfyn Evans, but responded with three stage wins to move into a healthy 19.1s advantage heading into Friday afternoon's five stages. Hyundai's Ott Tanak was unable to reel in the Toyota duo, ending the loop in third some 57.6s adrift.

Tanak's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville climbed to fourth after Toyota's Esapekka Lappi suffered a puncture, which dropped the Finn to seventh. Lappi's teammate Takamoto Katsuta overhauled Adrien Fourmaux in the M-Sport Puma for fifth, while M-Sport teammates Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet traded eighth and ninth after the former suffered a puncture.

Bright sunshine initially arrived on Saturday morning to replace the heavy rain that caused havoc late on Friday that helped Rovanpera overhaul Evans to grab the rally lead. That lead decreased slightly after the first stage of the day as Evans recorded his sixth stage win of the event. The Welshman edged Rovanpera by 0.6s, despite an inconsistent run across the Rallycross section of the test.

Rovanpera was particularly unhappy with his run, admitting: "I was losing seconds everywhere and I am not happy with my run at all." The times were close at the top of the leaderboard as Tanak stayed in touch, 1.4s slower, although his i20 N did leave the stop control dropping transmission oil.

16th July, 2022