Penalty costs Ott Tänak Rally di Alba victory

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Tänak and Järveoja in action in Rally di Alba. Source: Rally di Alba/Facebook

A time penalty cost Ott Tänak victory at the non-championship Rally di Alba in Italy Sunday. He and co-driver Martin Järveoja still found themselves on the podium, in second place, however.

The pair picked up the two-minute-30-second penalty after their mechanics had overshot their allotted time allowance for work on the Hyundai i20 WRC car, meaning despite coming first in all nine stages of the race, which is not part of the WRC calendar, the Estonians had to settle for second place, behind 19-year-old Swedish-Norwegian driver Oliver Solberg, also in a Hyundai.

Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston were one minute and 40 second behind Tänak/Järveoa, meaning the penalty caused the cars to switch places, with a nearly 30-second gap.

Oliver Solberg is the son of 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg.

The race followed last Sunday's Rally de Sardegna, which Tänak had to pull out of after at one point holding the lead. The next full WRC event is in Kenya, starting June 24, while Tänak will race before a home crowd in mid-July.

Tänak, 2019 WRC champion, is currently, fourth in the drivers' table, after five rounds.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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