Rally driver Ott Tänak's troubled Rally Turkey did not get any better Saturday; in fact it deteriorated, as the Estonian was forced to drop out before the day had even begun.
Tänak, who drives for Toyota Gazoo Racing, and co-driver and fellow Estonian Martin Järveoja, had already been languishing in an unfamiliarly lo 8th place going into Saturday, after lacklustre Thursday and Friday stages at the challenging circuit in Marmaris, southwest Turkey.
On Saturday, the pair had experience something of an improvement, at the expense of a competitor's bad fortune. Thierry Neuville, who is in second place overall in the WRC driver's table, rolled his Hyundai i20 in the opening stage of Saturday's first leg, BNS reports, promoting Tänak to seventh place.
However, Tänak's Toyota Yaris, which already experienced a puncture on Friday, suffered an electrical failure en route to the start line of the second stage on Saturday, meaning under the regulations, he had to miss the rest of the day.
Sunday's final stages are the only chance the Estonian, who has an over-30-point lead at the top of the WRC drivers' table, has to redeem himself at a race he won last year, though no matter what happens, he will still be at the top of the table, with three races remaining.
The drivers' table is a three horse race for the remainder of 2019, between Neuville of Belgium, reigning champion Sébastien Ogier (France, Citroën), and Tänak. Fourth-placed man and Tänak's teammate Kris Meeke, of Northern Ireland, is already too far behind on 80 points coming into Rally Turkey, to be in the running for the title.
Editor: Andrew Whyte