Tanak was clear in front from the moment Hanninen dropped out of contention with a puncture on stage three. Although Hanninen fought back to second, an accident on day two forced him to restart Rallye de France Alsace under SupeRally rules on Sunday. He recovered to fifth.
“There is one race to go and for sure it will be a big battle,” said the Estonian, who was co-driven to victory in his MM Motorsport Ford Fiesta S2000 by countryman Kuldar Sikk. “Maybe this battle was not that big because it ended on stage three. I have a nice feeling now on Tarmac and for sure we will fight for everything in Spain. I had a spin yesterday but otherwise it was okay.”
Red Bull Skoda driver Hanninen, whose last SWRC victory was on home soil in Finland back in July, said: “I made a very stupid mistake and have made it more difficult for Spain now. But at least it’s still in my own hands.”
Eyvind Brynildsen completed an entire rally distance for the first time this season in his PS Engineering Skoda Fabia. The Norwegian, who was competing alongside new co-driver Timo Alanne for the first time, claimed second with Martin Prokop keeping alive his slim hopes of the SWRC title in third.
Bernardo Sousa was the only other driver to complete the entire distance in his Fiesta. The Portuguese Fiesta pilot finished fourth with Hanninen fifth and French wildcard entrant Julien Maurin sixth after he also started under SupeRally on day three.
SWRC information bulletins from Rallye de France:
Follow this link for event statistics.
Follow this link for a news round-up.
Follow this link for driver quotes.