FIA World Rally ChampionshipWRC2

2019 Rally Chile: Dominant Tänak Seals Round Six Win

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Photo Credit; Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC

Ott Tänak claimed a dominating win on Rally Chile on Sunday afternoon after winning both the Wolf Power Stage and the overall event in round six of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.

Toyota driver Tänak went into Sunday with a 30.3 second lead over Sebastien Ogier and controlled his lead over the course of the remaining four stages to win the new-for-2019 event by 23.1 seconds, including taking the Power Stage win over the Frenchman by 1.3 seconds.

Tänak’s second win of the year means along with Ogier and Thierry Neuville, who retired from the Chilean event after a huge crash on Saturday morning, have all now won two rounds of the championship so far. Ogier is now championship leader, with the Toyota man in second, 10 points adrift and Neuville completing the top three.

Loeb took third in his first gravel event for Hyundai. Photo Credit: Hyundai Motorsport

Ogier had continued his battle with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb throughout Sunday, eventually holding onto the runners-up spot by 7.1 seconds, despite a fire extinguisher going off in his Citroen C3 WRC during the Power Stage. Loeb had at one point trimmed the margin to just 4.6 seconds after the end of the penultimate stage of the event.

Fourth in Chile was Elfyn Evans who had a relatively quiet end to the event while M-Sport Ford teammate Teemu Suninen held off fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi in the battle for fifth after the Citroen driver spun on the Power Stage dropping him vital time.

Suninen held off Lappi for fifth overall in Chile. Photo Credit: M-Sport

Andreas Mikkelsen completed the event in seventh in the third i20 Coupe WRC and he finished ahead of WRC2 PRO winner Kalle Rovanperä in a Skoda Fabia R5. The young Finn won the class ahead of Mads Østberg and Gus Greensmith.

Kris Meeke had at one point recovered to eighth overall after his roll on stage seven, but more drama struck after he was given a 60 second time penalty after the end of the event after being judged to have removed a damaged windscreen before the start of stage eight in an illegal position. This dropped him to tenth in the overall standings.

Takamoto Katsuta took his first WRC2 win of the season, but Alberto Heller suffered late heartbreak on his home event after the Ford Fiesta R5 driver rolled out of second position in the class on stage 14. Benito Guerra Jr and Alejandro Cancio completed the top three as a result.

Round seven of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship sees the series return to Europe with Rally Portugal, which takes place between May 30-June 2.

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