Ott Tanak goes into the final day with a 8.2s lead over Elfyn Evans following a crash from Thierry Neuville.
Overnight leader would make a mistake in SS15 which would allow his fellow Hyundai driver to assume the top spot whilst he would have to retire the car.
Saturday started with Tanak immediately pressurising Neuville in the first stage to cut down the deficit by 2.6s. This momentarily put him in the lead, however his momentum would be cut short on SS10. The stage was halted due to Craig Breen rolling his Ford Puma, whilst everyone was ok, it did mean that the crews had to go on towards the next test.
Neuville would fight back from then on as last year’s winner would beat his teammate by 6.2s in SS11 followed by adding another 9.9s to his lead after SS12. The sudden pace advantage was aided by Tanak experiencing transmission issues that related to the car’s four-wheel drive system.
Behind the top two, Elfyn Evans was making steady progress through the morning loops with the Toyota driver gaining time on Tanak to close within 5.3s of the Estonian.
Evans’s teammate, Esapekka Lappi rounded out the morning tests in fourth, 37.2s behind. The Finn was happy with a clean and tidy run through.
Neuville would continue to increase his gap to his teammate over SS13 and SS14. This despite Tanak changing some settings which cured his morning issues. Unfortunately for Neuville, this would be as good as it got. In SS15 the Belgian crashed his Hyundai as he understeered into a ditch, forcing the retirement of the car.
Neuville was nearly 20s clear at the time but a small mistake on a left hander gave his teammate the rally lead.
Evans sat at 6.3s off Tanak after the stage but was into second place with Lappi third and Adrien Fourmaux in fourth.
The order wouldn’t change much after the final stage, Tanak ended the day 8.2s in front of Evans with Lappi third. Oliver Solberg, however, would snatch fourth from Fourmaux with a gap of 15s. Solberg had been having a quiet rally after his misfortunes in previous rounds but has managed to sneak into the top four with one more day to run.
Day 2 Top 6
- Tanak 1hr 58min 55.2s
- Evans +8.2s
- Lappi +1min 9.8s
- Solberg +2min 51.6s
- Fourmaux +3min 5.9s
- Katsuta +5min 39.3s