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Elfyn Evans has secured his second victory of the season and is now favourite to win the World Rally Championship. The Welshman took victory in Turkey by a healthy margin, but it was the drama around him on Sunday's Çetibeli tests which will lead the headlines. Thierry Neuville went into Sunday's stages with a 33-second lead but was one of a host of drivers in trouble on the first stage of the morning. He stopped to change a puncture and lost almost two minutes to Evans, the stage winner. Neuville was not the only one to have issues. Sebastien Ogier, Kalle Rovanpera and Esapekka Lappi also stopped to change their own punctures, while Sebastien Loeb chose to drive to the end on his. All five of these drivers lost over a minute to the new leader, Evans.

Turkey again provided the WRC with some rough but beautiful stages. Photo: Jaanus Ree

M-Sport driver, Teemu Suninen, also hit trouble, losing a wheel on his Fiesta forcing his retirement. Pierre Louis Loubet retired with a mechanical issue in his Hyundai meaning his two World Rally Car starts have both been retirements. After the uneventful SS10 in comparison, several changes were made by teams at the final service to deal with the increasingly rough conditions. The drama continued on the second running of Çetibeli. Six-time champ, Ogier, blew the engine in his Yaris, ending his weekend, and putting a dent in his championship hopes. He would leave Turkey with no points. Gus Greensmith finished fifth. His speed varied, but his consistency and durability saw him grab a nice haul of championship points in his best-ever WRC finish. To complete Sunday's drama, Esapekka Lappi limped through the final stage nursing a damper issue which was picked up in the previous stage.

Thierry Neuville secured second after a tough final day. Photo: Jaanus Ree

He was far enough ahead of seventh place to hold sixth. Skodas clinched the Rally2 wins, with Pontus Tidemand winning WRC2 and Kajetan Kajetanowicz taking victory in WRC3. "For sure, it's good for the championship," Tidemand said of his victory. "A tough rally, but it's the same for everyone. We wanted to take maximum points here and we did it, now we need to keep going on the next events." The next round of the World Rally Championship will be in Italy next month, but with the championship hotting up, it promises to be no less exciting.

Overall Classification* 

1 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC 2:23:02.7
2 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +35.2
3 S. Loeb D. Elena Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +59.4
4 K. Rovanperä J. Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC +2:35.9
5 G. Greensmith E. Edmondson Ford Fiesta WRC +4:08.3
6 E. Lappi J. Ferm Ford Fiesta WRC +5:36.2
7 K. Kajetanowicz M. Szczepaniak Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo +12:35.5
8 P. Tidemand P. Barth Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo +12:59.7
9 A. Fourmaux R. Jamoul Ford Fiesta Rally2 +14:24.6

Drivers Standings* 

1 E. Evans Toyota Yaris WRC 97 points
2 S. Ogier Toyota Yaris WRC 79 points
3 K. Rovanperä Toyota Yaris WRC 70 points
4 O. Tanak Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 70 points
5 T. Neuville Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 65 points
6 E. Lappi Ford Fiesta WRC 38 points
7 T. Suninen Ford Fiesta WRC 34 points
8 C. Breen Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 25 points
9 S. Loeb Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 24 points
*Provisional
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