Get unlimited access
You have 10 articles remaining to view this month.
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.
|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|