Leader Ravanper scored two wins in the four-day test stages to convert a deficit of 18.4 seconds to 5.7 seconds from Evans in the last five stages on Sunday.

Ravanpera started the day in 13.6 seconds Evans increases that advantage after winning two of the three morning stages.

But Ravanpera steadily began to bite the gap in the afternoon before mastering the difficult wet conditions in the penultimate stage to seize the lead.

Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta finished the day in third 1 m50.1 seconds after passing Hyundai’s Dani Sorda in the morning, but only 5.7 seconds separated the pair.

Thierry Neville returned to the podium in fifth place after a strong demonstration in the afternoon.

Craig Brin came into service as the best Ford M-Sport runner in sixth place, ahead of his teammate Pierre Louis-Lube.

Ott Tanak of Hyundai and Adrien Furmo of M-Sport completed Rally1, following the retirement of Gus Greensmith, Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb.

Steady rain was coming as the afternoon cycle began to add another variable to the already challenging stages of gravel.

Ravanpera best adapted to the slippery conditions when the Finn won his fourth stage victory on stage 13, moving away from Evans ’lead by 1.9 seconds.

Katsuta has identified a third fastest time to maintain his strong start to the day to increase his overall lead over Sorda in the fight for third place.

Having lost nearly a minute in the morning to the puncture, Greensmith’s day deteriorated when he trimmed the shore with the right back of his Puma.

The blow ripped off a piece of the rim of the wheel and resulted in a slow puncture, and the Briton resigned due to a damaged right rear suspension.

Ravanpera intensified his pursuit of Evans in the next test, making a dedicated run that retreated from the leadership of his teammate by 6.6 s, bringing the deficit to 9.9 s.

Takamota Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo: McKlein / Drawings of motorsport

Katsuta again became the best of the rest, albeit 14.7 seconds slower than direct speed, but significantly faster than the pursuit of Hyundai from Sordo and Neville.

The rally complex changed when crews reached the second pass for the 37.24km Amarante test.

The rain began to go, but worsened as the stage progressed, leaving Evans and Ravanper to face desperately difficult conditions.

Ravanpera came on stage before Evans and managed to play 13.9 seconds from his opponent, which was enough to go for 4 seconds.

At the end of the scene, Evans revealed that he came close to a tree that prevented him from escaping.

“Of course, Calais was strong,” Evans said. “I think we had the worst here and it was raining very hard for us. I had a very close moment with a tree near the start that was bad, so it didn’t help.”

Although there was a lot of attention to the change of leaders in the rally, Neville stunned the field with a sharp time to win the stage with a score of 16.9s from Ravanper, involving himself in the fight for last place on the podium.

This was helped by Sorda and Katsuta, who fought for grip, publishing times more than 30 seconds slower than Neville.

Elsewhere, Brin received some damage to the tire, while his teammate M-Sport Lube was forced to fight through the rain without the use of wipers.

Ravanpera was ahead of Evans by another 1.7 seconds in super-special mode at the end of the day on slippery cobbled roads on Porto’s waterfront, while Sorda was third in Katsuta.


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