Ott Tänak first in Rally New Zealand opening speed test
Estonian driver Ott Tänak (Hyundai) came first in the initial speed test at Rally New Zealand, round eleven of the World Rally Championship's 2022 season.
While the Hyundai man said he hadn't found the stage, near Auckland, that much fun, he nonetheless put in time of 1.45.8 on the 1.78-km stage, almost a second faster than second placer Craig Breen (Ireland, M-Sport Ford). Tänak's teammate, Belgian Thierry Neuville, was third, followed by a Toyota trio, Takamoto Katsuta (Japan), Elfyn Evans (Wales) and season leader Kalle Rovanperäa (Finland).
Tänak clocked a time of 1.45.8 on the 1.78-kilometer public test in Auckland, which was 0.9 seconds faster than the second-placed Craig Breen (Ford). Third was the Estonian's teammate Thierry Neuville (+1.6).
They were followed by the Toyota trio of Takamoto Katsuta (+2.0), Elfyn Evans (+2.2) and Kalle Rovanperä (+2.6).
Thursday's test was the traditional evening shakedown, but since the event is taking place in New Zealand, day one proper, Friday morning, will start at a little after 10.30 p.m. Estonian time.
Tänak is 54 points behind Rovanperä with three races, including New Zealand, to go.
Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!
Editor: Andrew Whyte