Wales Rally GB seemed to be not as challenging as everybody was willing it to be. 32 participants reached the finish of it, of course just 11 crews made it without any penalty time and many other got 30 and more minutes of lost time. This time luck smiled to one more driver from Lithuania. After Arnas Kerbelys win in Finland, Mantvydas Ralys won another iconic race.
Before last leg Mantvydas had not very big advantage over fast Polish guy Mateusz Przyszlakowski, he was just 20 seconds behind Lithuanian. But Mantvydas started the last day with a win and in another stage he was also faster against his competitor. Last two stages were better for Mateusz, because Lithuanian made a wrong timer choice. However Pole didn't managed to eliminate all 24 seconds advantage and finished 2nd with a 16 seconds loss. Mateusz was sad and happy at the same time,- "Good result, but I can fight for win. Some mistakes, and I had not chance. Thanks!". Meanwhile Mantvydas was conservative on his first season win,- "Last two SS's, went with dry tires, I forgot to change it after service.... Woah, what was slippy as hell, but manage to keep my pace, didn't do major mistakes. Damn.. that's all on me, but great rally. I'm happy, thanks." 3rd place was saved by a Ukrainian Kirill Kolomiets by just 5 seconds after amazing fight with Jan Gais. Championship leader Juan Marzoa had a tough rally but managed to squeeze maximum from his situation finishing 9th and taking 3rd place in Power Stage. This gives him additional 5 points as his main competitor Libor Tomecek gets big zero in Wales and before 3 events left till season end, Spaniard leads by 72 points. 75 is a maximum what Libor can get from all the rest, but he need to win everything and hope that Juan doesn't get more than a 3 points in rest of the events. Sounds like mission impossible, but rally is a crazy sport sometimes. Most of the time...
Kirill made an amazing job to be in top at WRC 2 before last day, but Jan Gais was more than amazing on last day. Slovakian was going like crazy and showed top times. Before last stage he was just 4.4sec from Kirill and his 4th win in WRC 2. But SS21 was too short to cut that amount of time and only Ukrainian mistake could have been helped for Jan. Even so Kirill was faster than Jan in that one and held his leader position with 5.46 seconds win. "Huh. Held it. Feel very big pressure from Jan, nervous run all leg. I thought 18 seconds will be enough, but first stage on fog, not like it, ruin my Sunday run. I must push & this not comfortable. But last two stages went well for me. Glad to win here with such a battle.",- this was a comment from Kirill after finish. Last top 3 place also didn't changed. Paulius Butmanas confidently drove his Subaru Impreza N4 to 5th podium this season. After this win Kirill got closer to Jyrki up to 11 points and war for WRC 2 champion title gets really hot. Of course Tomasz Rajewski still got a chance to that title, but he are more likely to fight for 3rd place with Jan Gais, Paulius Butmanas and Oleksandr Pidlusky.
WRC 3 leading guys didn't had any reason to take a risk on last day and finished in the same order as they were after second leg. Remus Diaconescu took his 3rd win this season and even 8th podium. This time Romanian had 2min and 12sec advantage over Polish driver Maciej Mynarski. 4 minutes behind him we have Milan Reznicek from Czech Republic. This was his 3rd podium this year. Just two guys here can become the fastest 2wd driver. At the moment the leader is Maciej Zawisza he has almost 40 points more than his countryman Mariusz Domanus. The latter has to work really hard to make this situation not worse after hadn't finishing Wales rally.
Next round is in Catalunya region which is now having strong rain storms. So maybe we gonna get another wet event. However just 3 rounds left and there is no place for mistakes anymore.