Evans drops to third in WRC as Tanak wins in Italy

Elfyn Evans and co-driver Scott Martin at Rally Italia Sardegna 2024
Elfyn Evans and co-driver Scott Martin were World Rally Championship runners-up in 2020, 2021 & 2023. [Getty Images]

Elfyn Evans has dropped to third in the World Rally Championship (WRC) behind Ott Tanak who won Rally Italia Sardegna by just two-tenths of a second.

Hyundai driver Tanak overturned a 6.2-second deficit behind Sebastien Ogier when the Frenchman punctured on the final stage.

Evans and Tanak are level on 104 points, 18 behind Championship leader Thierry Neuville who crashed out of rally contention on Saturday's stage eight.

Welshman Evans had been off the pace for much of the weekend in Sardinia, though improved steadily after a puncture on the first stage.

"It's been a tough weekend; today was better in these conditions," said Toyota driver Evans, who finished fourth two minutes 37 seconds behind the winner.

"It wasn't the weekend we wanted, it's a change of pace now in the Championship and hopefully we can find our form again."

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin added eight points from Sunday's running to the 10 collected on Saturday. They have at least cut the gap slightly on Championship leader Neuville, who recovered from Saturday's disappointment to pick up 12 points from Sunday's stages, including winning the final power stage.

"We did the job Friday and we did the job today, but yesterday [Saturday] was not good," said Hyundai driver Neuville, who began the rally with a 24-point lead.

"I lost concentration for a tenth of a second. It wasn't a big mistake but it was enough for the car to get stuck, I'm sorry for the team."

Round seven of the 13-race series is Rally Poland, from 27 to 30 June.

FIA World Rally Championship standings after Rally Italia Sardegna (provisional)

1. Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai, 122 points

2. Ott Tanak (Estonia) Hyundai, 104 points

3. Elfyn Evans (Great Britain) Toyota, 104 points

4. Sebastien Ogier (France) Toyota, 92 points

5. Adrien Fourmaux (France) Ford, 74 points

6. Takamoto Katsuta (Japan) Toyota, 52 points