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Tänak leads the way after six special stages at Rally Chile

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja.
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja. Source: M-Sport Ford

Estonia's Ott Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja (M-Sport Ford) are leading the way after the first six special stages at Rally Chile. Tänak, who won Rally Chile back in 2019, ended Friday 4.2 seconds ahead of Finland's Teemu Suninen (Hyundai) in second place.

Tänak started well on Friday before dropping back to third place after the second special stage when a heavy landing caused his Ford to take a spin.

Undeterred, the Estonian quickly regained his rhythm, clawing his way back to the top of the leaderboard with three stage wins for the day.

Tänak ended Friday with a total time of 58 minutes 43.7 seconds, 4.2 seconds ahead of Teemu Suninen (Hyundai). Elfyn Evans (Toyota) is in third (+12.7 seconds) and Thierry Neuville in fourth (+27.7).

Defending world champion Kalle Rovanperä is currently in fifth place, 27.7 seconds behind the Estonian.

Earlier in the day, Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubert was forced out of the rally due to a major crash. Both Loubet and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul thankfully emerged from the accident unharmed.

"It's been quite consistent day for us, we are leading the rally. The morning loop was a bit tricky with some serious moments, but we managed to get through it. The afternoon loop was actually drama-free, so we had to just manage our tires and I would say we did quite well," Tänak wrote on social media.

"The tire choice we made weren't probably the most optimum, but I guess it was difficult to make the perfect choice anyway as our road position wasn't exactly one or another, but in the end we played out quite well," he added.

"Tomorrow will be even more challenging for sure, as the stages are much more technical with the very hard surface, so it will be very difficult to make the correct tire choice, especially for the morning loop."

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A post shared by Ott Tänak (@otttanak)

Rally Chile continues on Saturday, with special stage 7 getting underway shortly before 2 p.m. Estonian time.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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