Tänak remains in second place going into Acropolis Rally final day
Ott Tänak goes into the final day of the WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece 2021 in second place, a position he carried over from Friday.
The Estonian is over 30 seconds behind race leader Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), however, who dominated the day's proceedings by winning all bar two of the stages.
Tänak bagged the final stage of the day, and 12th stage of the race overall, the 18.14-kilometer Eleftherochori 2 stage, while Frenchman and reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) took the penultimate.
The top seven positions look like this: Rovanperä 2: 36.52.8, 2. Tänak +30.8, 3. Ogier +40.2, 4. Dani Sordo +2.09.4 (Spain, Hyundai), 5. Adrien Fourmaux (France, M-Sport Ford) +3.19, 2. 6. Gus Greensmith (England, M-Sport Ford) +3.35.0, 7. Elfyn Evans (Wales, Toyota) +5.51.9.
Tänak said that adjustments made to the Hyundai i20 had made a difference.
Three more stages remain in the rally, which started under the eaves of the Parthenon in Athens, in unusually miserable weather conditions, before moving to the central Greek city of Lamia.
Stage 13 starts a little after 8.00 a.m. Estonian time on Sunday, while the final stage starts a bit before 1.20 p.m.
Tänak won the 17.54-kilometer Aghii stage on Friday and finished the day in second place.
He went into Friday in fifth place after Thursday's opening stage, and had placed third in Thursday morning's preliminary test.
Another Hyundai man and Ypres Rally winner Thierry Neuville is outside the top ten going into Sunday morning, despite winning the last stage Thursday. A steering issue had cost Neuville over 10 minutes on Friday.
Round nine of the 2021 championship, the Acropolis Rally is making a return to the WRC calendar after an eight-year absence. The event is also marking its 70th anniversary this year.
The normally dry and dusty conditions lead teams to use similar set-ups to those in, for instance summer's Rally Kenya.
Acropolis rally Itinerary, with distances, start time (Estonian time) and completed stages and their winners in italics:
Test 4,25 km 8.01 ROVANPERÄ (TOYOTA)
SS1 Cosmote 5G Athens Stage 0,98 km 18.08 OGIER (TOYOTA)
Friday, September 10:
SS2 Aghii Theodori 1 17.54 km 10.18 TÄNAK (HYUNDAI)
SS3 Loutraki 19.40 km 11.11 ROVANPERÄ
SS4 Aghii Theodori 2 17.54 km 13.24 ROVANPERÄ
SS5 Thiva 23.27 km 15.47 OGIER
SS6 Elatia 11.65 km 17.40 NEUVILLE (HYUNDAI)
Saturday, September 11:
SS7 Pavliani 1 24.25 km 8.32 ROVANPERÄ
SS8 Gravia 24.81 km 9.57 ROVANPERÄ
SS9 Bauxites 22.97 km 11.52 ROVANPERÄ
SS10 Eleftherochori 1 18.14 km 13.08 ROVANPERÄ
SS11 Pavliani 2 24.25 km 16.26 OGIER
SS12 Eleftherochori 2 18.14 km 18.08 TÄNAK
Sunday, September 12:
SS13 Tarzan 1 23.37 km 8.08
SS14 Pyrgos 33.20 km 9.51
SS15 Tarzan 2 (PK) 12.68 km 13.18
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Editor: Andrew Whyte