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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Tanak wins opening stage, Evans and Lappi share lead

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The 2019 world champion kicked off the 21-stage occasion by successful the opening 3.3km Tartu Vald take a look at however is sitting final within the general standings after being hit with a five-minute penalty following an enforced engine change after shakedown.

Dealing with an uphill battle to attain championship factors, Tanak highlighted what might have been by successful the spectator stage by 0.6s from Toyota’s Elfyn Evans and Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi, who clocked equivalent instances.

“I’d say that the extra I’ve to undergo the day, the extra it hurts,” stated Tanak on the stage finish. 

“It is getting increasingly painful. Our probabilities for the championship had been fairly tight contemplating our performances this 12 months and we had been working onerous for the following two rallies. 

“This was a correct kick within the balls.”

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By advantage of Tanak’s penalty, Evans and Lappi will head into Saturday with a shared 0.1s lead over championship chief and Toyota driver Kalle Rovanpera, who opted for a measured begin to the rally. 

“I did not stress an excessive amount of about this one, it is a difficult stage so we simply did a clear run-through with no push,” stated Rovanpera.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“Tomorrow goes to be fascinating, opening the highway shall be an enormous problem it appears, there may be a number of unfastened gravel on the highway on Friday’s levels. We have to do our greatest and see the place we’re tomorrow.”

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville ended the stage 1.6s adrift of the tempo however forward Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta and Teemu Suninen, who made his Rally1 debut driving the third Hyundai i20N. M-Sport’s Pierre-Louis Loubet accomplished the eight-car Rally1 discipline.  

Toksport Skoda driver Andreas Mikkelsen assumed an early lead in WRC2 by 0.3s from Oliver Solberg, who misplaced time to half spin and slight overshoot within the stage.

WRC2 rival Emil Lindholm was lucky to achieve the stage finish after damaging his left rear suspension on his aggressive debut for Hyundai’s Rally2 squad.   

The rally continues on Friday with crews set to face seven extra levels, comprising 133 kilometres of aggressive motion.

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