World Rally Championship

Three stages left for Tanak as Toyota drivers battle for third

Ott Tanak looks set to take a home victory on Rally Estonia as he heads into the final leg of three stages with a 12.5-second lead over Hyundai team-mate Craig Breen.

This morning’s fastest times have been set by the Toyota crews as Elfyn Evans chases Sebastien Ogier’s third position.

Evans stole over two seconds on Ogier when he set the fastest time on Sunday’s first stage, Arula, but then lost time as he struggled on the slower sections of the following test.

A brilliant time from Ogier on the loop’s final stage, Kambja, has further increased his podium cushion to 10.6 seconds with three stages remaining.

The Toyota pair provisionally hold the top two places in the World Rally Championship’s drivers’ standings and with only a few rounds left this year, every point counts.

Kalle Rovanpera continued to show stunning speed on Sunday morning, setting the fastest time on Stage 13, Kaagvere.

Rovanpera is too far back to join in on his team-mates’ podium fight after receiving a one-minute time penalty on Saturday evening. The Finnish crew breached parc ferme regulations when co-driver, Jonne Halttunen, removed the Toyota Yaris WRC’s radiator blanking plate inside a time control.

There were four Toyotas running in a row as Sunday’s action commenced but Takamoto Katsuta’s strong performance in Estonia came to an all too sudden end on Kaagvere.

The Japanese driver pushed his Yaris too far into a right-hander, drifting into a ditch and sending car and crew into a roll. The crew were okay after the rally-ending accident but will be disappointed to exit from fifth position which would have been their best WRC finish had they held it.

M-Sport holds the next three positions with its crews again struggling to match the pace of their Hyundai and Toyota rivals.

Thierry Neuville has returned to the action on Sunday following his retirement midway through yesterday’s stages. The Belgian cruised through this morning’s three stages as he saves as much as he can for Rally Estonia’s Power Stage.

Standings after Stage 14

1 O. Tanak (Hyundai) 1:37:41.5
2 C. Breen (Hyundai) +12.5s
3 S. Ogier (Toyota) +27.0
4 E. Evans (Toyota) +37.6
5 K. Rovanpera (Toyota) +1:28.7
6 E. Lappi (M-Sport Ford) +2:08.4

Photo by Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

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