Tänak continues in lead, Evans drops out after crash

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Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) at the South Estonia Rally.
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) at the South Estonia Rally. Source: Urmo Sibul

The South Estonia Rally held this Sunday will feature top WRC drivers making preparations for Rally Estonia to be held in September.


SS5 - Kündja 1

Tänak and Järveoja returned from lunch with all of their speed intact, running the 14.56-kilometer Kündja special stage in six minutes, 34.4 seconds. Kalle Rovanperä was once again second, losing 2.6 seconds to the Hyundai driver. Sebastien Ogier was third (+4.4), ahead of Thierry Neuville (+9.9) and Esapekka Lappi (+17.2)

Elfyn Evans' rally came to an end after the Toyota driver went off in a high-speed corner. While Evans and co-driver Scott Martin are both fine, the car was rendered undrivable.

Tänak leads 10.1 seconds ahead of Rovanperä after the fifth special stage, with Ogier in third (+20.6) seconds and Neuville fourth and over half a minute behind Tänak.

SS4 - Haanja 2

Tänak still the fastest after drivers took to the Haanja special stage for the second time, finishing the fourth special stage 1.4 seconds ahead of Rovanperä. Sebastien Ogier came in third, losing just 2 seconds to the leader. Neuville (+3.9) and Evans (+4.9) rounded up the top five.

"Not too bad, but we could do better. The conditions are difficult now," Tänak said.

"We changed out setup due to difficult conditions. I was a little bit too cautious at first because I thought the conditions were difficult, but they weren't," Rovanperä said.

Tänak remains in the lead, 7.5 seconds ahead of Rovanperä as the drivers and crews head for lunch. Ogier is in third place (+16.2), Elfyn Evans in fourth (+18.2) and Thierry Neuville in fifth (+20).

SS3 - Ihatsi 2

Ott Tänak was once again fastest after the drivers took to the Ihatsi special stage for the second time, while the Estonia finished just 0.2 seconds ahead of Kalle Rovanperä. Thierry Neuville came in third (+3.1), followed by Elfyn Evans (+4.4) and Sebastien Ogier (+4.7).

Tänak was no happy with the stage. "It was worse than we thought. We were not prepared for that. We need to be better," he said.

Other drivers were also having difficulties. "The road is in poor condition," Ogier said. "There was a car on the road at the start, which was pretty dangerous - we had no idea."

Tänak remains the leader of the South Estonia Rally, 6.1 seconds ahead of Rovanperä, with Evans in third (+13.3), Ogier fourth (+14.2) and Neuville fifth (+17).

SS2 – Haanja 1

Ott Tänak was the fastest also during the day's second stage, 4.1 seconds ahead of Kalle Rovanperä. Elfyn Evans (+5.9) was third and Sebastien Ogier (+6.6) fourth. Tänak's Hyundai stablemate Thierry Neuville lost 7.4 seconds to the leader. Tänak described Võru County roads as fast. "They allow for some serious galloping," he said.

Tänak maintains a 5.9 second lead ahead of Rovanperä after the second special stage of the rally, with Evans in third (+8.9), Ogier fourth (+9.5), Neuville fifth (+13.9) and Esapekka Lappi in sixth place (+28.3).

SS1 – Ihatsi 1

Tänak won the rally's first special stage 1.8 seconds ahead of Rovanperä (Toyota) and 2.9 seconds ahead of WRC leader Sebastien Ogier (Toyota).


SS1 – Ihatsi 1  – 10,56 km – 09.01
SS2 – Haanja 1  – 10,47 km – 09.45
SS3 – Ihatsi 2  – 10,56 km – 11.44
SS4 – Haanja 2  – 10,47 km – 12.28
SS5 – Kündja 1  – 14,56 km – 14.44
SS6 – Ruusmäe 1 – 15,16 km – 15.36
SS7 – Kündja 2  – 14,56 km – 17.39
SS8 – Ruusmäe 2 – 15,16 km – 18.31


This year's South Estonia Rally (Lõuna-Eesti Ralli) will be run as a single-day event made up of eight special stages. The drivers will start the day with the 10.56-kilometer Ihatsi 1 special stage at 9 a.m. and finish with the 15.16-kilometer Ruusmäe 2 special stage at 6.31 p.m.

The closed Uue-Saaluse test stage driven on Saturday was won by Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) and Elfyn Evans (Toyota). Ott Tänak (Hyundai) posted the fifth best time.

The South Estonia Rally hosts seven WRC and 12 R5 cars.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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