Saturday | 28 Jun 2014

Tänak on target for Polish WRC 2 win

Ott Tänak is on course to take his maiden WRC 2 victory at Lotos 71st Rally Poland after extending his lead over team-mate Jari Ketomaa to more than a minute today.

The Estonian will start tomorrow’s final leg with a 1min 29.1sec advantage over Ketomaa. Such has been their dominance that the Drive DMACK pair have won every speed test in their Ford Fiesta R5s.

Tänak was under no pressure and measured his pace on the soft and sandy roads. Even when co-driver Raigo Mölder accidentally opened the wrong pace notes at the beginning of SS12, Tänak remained unflustered – and set fastest time.

“It’s been a good day without any problems and we’ve driven at a safe rhythm. There are some difficult stages tomorrow and conditions will be hard because we’ve already driven them once, so I have to stay concentrated,” said Tänak.

Sébastien Chardonnet works in vain to repair his Citroen DS3 R5

His 14.9sec overnight advantage increased significantly when Ketomaa damaged his car’s sump guard after hitting a rock buried in a puddle in SS12 before spinning in the next stage. With the gap over a minute, Ketomaa was in no mood to chase his colleague.

Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi is third in a Fiesta RRC, 3min 31.2sec off the lead, with Ukraine’s Valeriy Gorban fourth, despite twice spinning his Mini John Cooper Works in SS13.

The top six is completed by Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa and Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs. Sousa overcame a small turbo leak which drained his engine of power while Fuchs repaired his car’s front suspension by the roadside after damaging it in SS17.

Martin Kangur retired from third after ripping a wheel from his Ford Fiesta S2000, while Sébastien Chardonnet’s impressive drive to fourth ended when his Citroen DS3 R5 stopped in SS12.

In the Production Cup class within WRC 2, Juan Carlos Alonso leads Max Rendina by more than two minutes. Both are driving Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X cars.

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