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WRC Rally Poland: Tanak closes on first win

Ott Tanak maintains his lead on Rally Poland and with just two stages to go has an 18.6sec advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen; Stephane Lefebvre slips to 15th after spinning and hitting a tree in SS19, damaging his left-rear suspension
CLICK HERE for Rally Poland leaderboard after SS19


DMACK's Ott Tanak remains on course to win Rally Poland, despite the arrival of rain, which has left the stages muddy and slippery.

Tanak began the final day with a 21.3sec advantage, and while he felt his car was set-up too hard for SS18, he was still second quickest, just 2.4secs slower than nearest rival and stage winner, Andreas Mikkelsen.

Tanak then went fourth fastest in SS19, but was only 0.3secs off Mikkelsen, to complete the loop with an 18.3sec cushion.

“All going to plan,” Tanak told the official WRC site. “The grip was better in here. Now we can make some changes to the car. We'll soften it for the second loop.”

Meanwhile, behind the fight at the front, Hayden Paddon continues to run third in his Hyundai, now 12.9secs off Mikkelsen's VW – and 31.5secs off the lead.

"My priority is keeping the gap behind. Taking it steady. I'm leaving the battle ahead to Andreas and Ott," said the Kiwi.

Thierry Neuville is next up in the sister Hyundai, 20secs off his team-mate, and 13.1secs up on VW's Jari-Matti Latvala, who in turn is just 2.4secs ahead of colleague Sebastien Ogier, the Frenchman now freed from running first in the order.

Ogier was slowed in SS19 after Stephane Lefebvre spun and hit a tree, damaging his left-rear suspension. He was, however, subsequently awarded the quickest time, and will be out to chase down Latvala over the two remaining tests.

Lefebvre did manage to limp to the end of Sady 1 and back to service, but drops from P7 overall to P15, losing over 4.5 minutes.

Craig Breen benefits as a result of his team-mates woes and moves up in his DS 3 WRC, with M-Sport duo Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg eighth and ninth, the latter surviving an off in SS18.

Dani Sordo completes the top-ten, although like Lefebvre he was in trouble in Sady 1, after hitting a hale bale in his Hyundai.

In WRC2, Esapekka Lappi has increased his lead, and is now 19.4secs up on Teemu Suinen. Suinen dropped to third in SS18, after Elfyn Evans put in a superb time – 16.2s quicker. Suinen, however, edged back in front in SS19 and the two are now split by just 1.5secs.

The event now draws to a close with repeat-runs through both of this morning's tests. Baranowo 2 is due to start at 10.50 hours local time [09.50 hours UK time].
by Rob Wilkins



Related Pictures

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21.04.2016 - Ott Tanak (EAU)- Raigo Molder (EST), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, DMACK World Rally Team

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