Ott Tanak builds lead on all-new Rally Chile stages
Toyota’s Ott Tanak has built a 22.4 second lead over Sebastien Ogier on the all-new Rally Chile.
After a small stall on the opening stage of the day Tanak was untouchable for the rest of Friday, extending the gap to the C3 of Ogier.
Jari-Matti Latvala was furious with himself for stalling on the second run of Espigado when he looked likely to set the fastest stage time but fends off Thierry Neuville for third by seven tenths of a second.
The red flag came out after the i20 of Neuville had gone into the second stage of the day due to the stage not being clear, leading to the Belgian receiving a notional time which he felt was slower than the time he was capable of.
This issue, compounded by an early lack of confidence in his pace notes, leaves Neuville playing catch-up going into Saturday.
The longest day of the event proved tough for all the competitors on the unfamiliar stages, especially after the fog-hampered recce.
Kris Meeke sits in fifth, two seconds ahead of Sebastien Loeb who was on top form across the afternoon, setting the fastest time on the evening’s super special stage on his first gravel event of the year.
M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans is in seventh after dropping back on the day’s penultimate stage, ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen who hit a rock on the opening stage and struggled with his pace notes.
The Finns of Teemu Suninen and Esapekka Lappi round out the top 10 after both feeling uncomfortable on their first outings in Chile.