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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Breen leads Tanak as night time stage concertinas the pack

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Breen managed to shut the hole to Tanak throughout the night’s three levels earlier than starring within the darkness to open up 2.8s lead over his team-mate.

Tanak started the afternoon by successful Stage 4 however Breen responded to win the subsequent check to shut the hole to 1.5s, earlier than ending third quickest on the night time stage that was gained by Toyota’s Elfyn Evans.

The occasion’s first night time stage since 1994 supplied a big problem ensuing within the area closing up considerably.

Solely 7.9s covers the highest 5 as title contender Evans, courtesy of his stage win, moved to 3rd total 6.1s shy of the lead. Wildcard Toyota runner Esapekka Lappi turned heads on his WRC return and ended the day 0.6s slower than Evans, whereas rally favorite and Toyota team-mate Rovanpera fought again to finish the loop in fifth total.

Thierry Neuville was greater than half a minute adrift after shedding confidence within the night time, with championship chief and street sweeper Sebastien Ogier seventh. M-Sport Ford duo of Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux rounded out the highest 10 behind Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta.

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Tanak picked up the place he left off after the morning loop and was even quicker after finishing a set-up tweak on his i20 earlier than the afternoon and night levels.

The 2019 world champion claimed his second stage win of the occasion on stage 4, the second move of Ässämäki to additional prolong his lead.

“I modified the automotive stability a bit and it is following a bit higher,” mentioned Tanak. “The sensation is coming step-by-step and we’re studying, so it is getting higher.”

After struggling along with his set-up, Rovanpera responded to set the second quickest time, 1.8s adrift of Tanak.

“I feel our set-up is simply not so good on the primary move,” mentioned Rovanoera. “That’s my mistake from the testing and I feel it isn’t really easy to repair that now throughout the rally. I am unable to do rather more than this if any individual is way quicker.”

Breen dropped 2.1s to team-mate Tanak to set the third quickest time however the Irishman complained of a unfastened rear diffuser.

Evans was fourth quickest a tenth quicker than Neuville whereas Lappi slotted into sixth as Katsuta edged Ogier, hampered by opening the street.

Rovanpera regarded to have secured his first stage win of the rally on the subsequent check solely to be denied by Breen, who pipped the Finn by a second.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Nevertheless, Rovanpera jumped to 3rd total after clawing 1.3s again from rally chief Tanak, who was third quickest, because the Estonian’s total lead over Breen shrunk to 1.5s.

Lappi as soon as once more turned heads to finish the stage solely 2.9s adrift of the tempo and comfortably quicker than full-timers Evans, Neuville, Katsuta and Ogier.

Labelled the hardest stage of the rally, the night time time run via Oittila lived as much as the moniker.

Evans was among the many drivers to have the most effective of the sunshine and the Welshman made essentially the most of it to win the stage.

Nevertheless, Evans’ time was severely threatened by Lappi, who threw warning to the wind, and survived a wild second near the end to finish up only one.6s shy and second quickest.

In contrast to the Toyota group, which accomplished an evening check previous to the occasion, the Hyundai drivers went into the stage blind. Nevertheless, it didn’t cease Breen from posting the third quickest time, which might safe the 31-year-old the general lead.

“It is superb. I all the time questioned what Finland could be like at the hours of darkness and now we have felt it and witnessed it,” mentioned Breen. “It is completely unbelievable. My lights weren’t 100% to be sincere, I’ve a bit of labor to do on them, nevertheless it’s simply unbelievable.”

Rovanpera managed to haul himself nearer to the lead by setting the fourth quickest time, forward of Ogier, who had the most effective of the sunshine, whereas Tanak was sixth quickest.

Neuville admitted the darkness sapped his confidence which resulted in him dropping again from the pack.

“I simply could not decide to it and the visibility was fairly poor,” mentioned Neuville. “My lights weren’t good and I did not wish to do a mistake as a result of it might have been silly.”

In WRC2, former M-Sport WRC driver Teemu Suninen leads Emil Lindholm by 7.4s.

Rally Finland continues on Saturday, the longest day of the occasion, with the sphere set to sort out 9 particular levels.

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