Ott Tanak (Toyota Yaris WRC) took maximum points and a maiden win on Wales RallyGB to strengthen his grip on the Drivers’ title in the World Rally Championship where his team mate Tyrone’s Kris Meeke helped their Toyota Gazoo Racing team close to within eight points of Hyundai for the Manufacturers’ crown.
An absorbing event saw Tanak finish 10.9 seconds ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) with Sebastien Ogier (Citroen WRC) 12.9 seconds behind in third with Meeke fourth.
Craig Breen (Hyundai) after a massive roll on Saturday, finished eighth after Teemu Suninen (Fiesta WRC) failed to start the final leg.
Meeke and Breen had contrasting fortunes during the penultimate leg. Even though Meeke lost a place and slipped to fourth, he retained the position through the day.
Meeke’s road position didn’t help his cause that was primarily to stay ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) and also gain Manufacturers’ points. Within two stages (S.S. 12) Neuville has edged him out of third.
Breen was lucky to remain in the rally after he rolled his Hyundai several times on the Myherin stage, overnight he was a distant ninth. The Waterford driver admitted he was a little too optimistic, ironically, it was on the same stage where he won the World Junior Championship in 2011.
A cracked windscreen made visibility tough for the remaining five stages.
Tanak continued to lead but he lost the bumper of his Toyota on S.S. 15 and the noise from the exhaust made it difficult to hear the pacenotes of his co-driver Martin Jarveoja.
Nevertheless, he ended the day with a victory over Neuville and Ogier.
Meeke was fourth, 9.2 seconds off the podium spot as Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai) kept a charging Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta WRC) at bay, the latter revelling on his home patch setting three fastest. Breen was ninth.
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