Neuville and Evans driving mistakes, Ogier rises to the top of the dramatic World Rally Croatia | game

The 18th special stage of the World Rally Championship in Croatia has shaken the balance of power at the top of rallying. The lead of the rally changed, with French champion Sébastien Ogier taking the lead ahead of Thierry Neuville and Elphin Evans.

Neuville damaged the right front wing of his car during the special stage and lost to Ogier by no less than 21.8 seconds. Evans also made a driver error and lost time.

Ogier has a 9.1-second lead over Evans and a 10.2-second lead over third-place Neuville with two special stages remaining in the race.

– It's very easy to make a mistake there. “We will fight,” Ogier, who drives a Toyota, told the World Series.

Newville regretted his mistakes as it looked as though victory in the tournament was in his grasp. Evans' car spun and hit the side of the road, but remained intact.

– There was a slippery slope. The rear of the car hit the left side hard causing the car to spin. Still, the car is fine, Evans said.

Adrien Fourmaux was in trouble on the special stage after his right front tire burst. The Frenchman lost more than 15 minutes to problems and dropped to fifth place, a long way from first place.

Estonia's Ott Tänak, who set the bottom time in the special stage, is fourth in the rally, more than a minute behind Ogier.

Juna had to change the tire

Among the Finnish drivers in the Rally2 category, Sami Bajari drove the special test without any problems and finished tenth overall. Larry Juna stopped on the 18th special stage after 6.5 kilometers and had to change his right front tire, but made it to the special stage. He is ranked 15th. Emil Lindholm is only 26 seconds off Juna.

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– I can't say where the tire broke, but it had to be replaced, Juna said at the World Championship.

There is still a 13.15km long 19th special stage and a 14.24km long 14.24km long 20th special stage which also offers Power Stage bonus points.

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