Rally GB: Tanak ends Friday with big lead over Neuville, Ogier P5

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The World Rally Championship’s in-form driver Ott Tanak holds a commanding overnight lead after Friday’s Rally GB running, ahead of his title rival and current standings leader Thierry Neuville.

Tanak’s lead has grown to 28.8 seconds over Neuville after he won the first two stages of the afternoon’s loop, before Neuville hit back with victory on the day-ending Penmachno stage.

Neuville’s climb to second overall was boosted by the retirement of M-Sport Ford’s Elfyn Evans after he developed a misfire on the road to the first stage of the afternoon.

The Hyundai driver’s overnight second place was soon confirmed when Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala fell behind on the long-distance Brenig stage.

A stone damaged Latvala’s windscreen while the Finn battled to find his rhythm.

The problem meant he backed off out of fear he had damaged his dampers and meant he would go on to end up third overall after the final stage of the day.

Esapekka Lappi made it three Toyotas in the top four overall as the Japanese manufacturer benefited from a car suited to Friday’s fast-flowing stages.

Lappi lacked the pace of team-mates Tanak and Latvala as he said he was “not brave” enough to push and struggled with car balance.

Defending WRC champion Sebastien Ogier began his attempt to make up ground on his title competitors Tanak and Neuville after his morning was ruined by the loss of first and second gear late-on.

Ogier’s gearbox and clutch was changed in the service park ahead of the afternoon running and he now lies fifth overall, 38.2s behind Tanak.

But Ogier did claw time back on Neuville to trail the second-placed driver by 9.4s. Teemu Suninen had been ahead of Ogier going into the final three stages of Friday.

Suninen then completed a miserable afternoon for M-Sport by crashing on the final run and getting his Ford Fiesta WRC stuck in a ditch, which dropped him out of contention.

Craig Breen was the highest-placed Citroen driver in sixth.

Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon was seventh ahead of Mads Ostberg, with the pair encountering more difficult conditions by running further down the order.

Ostberg lost some time after running wide as he went up a steep incline during the last stage, but remained comfortably in ninth ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen.

The WRC2 field was again dominated by Kalle Rovanpera, who extended his lead over Skoda driver Pontus Tidemand to almost a minute, and he is now 10th overall.


Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 RC1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1h06m04.3s
2 RC1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 28.8s
3 RC1 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 31.3s
4 RC1 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 35.9s
5 RC1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 38.2s
6 RC1 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 48.8s
7 RC1 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m06.4s
8 RC1 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 1m08.4s
9 RC1 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m24.3s
10 WRC2 Pontus Tidemand, J.Andersson Skoda Motorsport II Skoda 4m07.0s
11 WRC2 Gus Greensmith, A.Gelsomino Gus Greensmith Ford 4m14.7s
12 WRC2 Lukasz Pieniążek, P.Mazur Printsport Oy Skoda 6m25.9s
13 WRC2 Ole-Christian Veiby, S.R.Skjaermoen PH Sport Citroen 6m57.1s
14 WRC2 Fabio Andolfi, S.Scattolin ACI Team Italia Skoda 10m05.5s

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