MAXIMUM POINTS FOR TANAK ON WALES RALLY GB
Ott Tänak extended his lead in the FIA World Rally Championship yesterday (6 October) with a masterful victory in the Toyota Yaris WRC on Wales Rally GB, his sixth win of the season. His British team-mate Kris Meeke finished fourth to add to a strong points haul for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, bringing them within eight points of the top of the manufacturers’ title race.
Toyota led the rally from start to finish, with Meeke setting the early pace before Tänak took over at the front. The young Estonian and his Finnish co-driver Martin Järveoja claimed seven stage wins, including the final Power Stage which netted additional championship points.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win,” said Tänak There’s a lot of people working behind us and with the effort they put in, it’s great to be rewarded like this with maximum points. On the Power Stage, I had full confidence in the car and I had to take the opportunity, as every point can be crucial. We have two more rallies to come this season and certainly nothing is decided yet, so we need to keep pushing and keep focused.”
Ulsterman Meeke and co-driver Seb Marshall admitted to some disappointment after having led the event for much of Friday. “We have two rallies to go, I hope we can be strong in Spain and fingers crossed we can have a good end to the year,” said Meeke.
There was no joy for the third Yaris driver, Jari-Matti Latvala, who was sidelined from the rally after a crash on Friday. Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila were unhurt, but the car could not be repaired for a re-start.
Going into the next event, Rally Spain, team principal Tommi Mäkinen is in positive mood: “Ott did a perfect job: I know that this rally is one of the most difficult, but he controlled it all weekend under huge pressure. His championship is looking good now: I’ve been in this situation and it’s very hard, but he’s managing everything very well. Kris also did a great job this weekend to score us important points for the manufacturers’ championship. We have two rallies to go, we just need to concentrate and do our job as well as we can.”
Rally Spain takes place from 25 to 27 October and features both gravel and asphalt stages. After one day of all-gravel competition, the teams have to switch their cars to asphalt specification within a 75-minute service period. The asphalt stages are smooth, fast and flowing.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION, WALES RALLY GB
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h00m58.0s
2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +10.9s
3 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +23.8s
4 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.6s
5 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +48.6s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +58.2s
7 Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5m23.8s
8 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +9m25.0s
9 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Škoda Fabia R5 Evo) +10m51.1s
10 Petter Solberg/Phil Mills (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +11m36.1s