M-Sport Ford’s Ott Tanak was leading Rally Chile after dominating the gravel stages on Saturday. He ended the penultimate leg with a 58.3 second advantage over Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen. Tanak had started the day with a 4.2 second lead and further extended it by winning four out of the six stages.
The rally, based in Concepcion, still has four stages remaining on Sunday, totaling 54.12km.
Tanak, the 2019 world rally champion, expressed his satisfaction with the day’s performance. He credited his decision to choose hard tires, which lasted longer than his competitors’ tires. This gave him an advantage to slow down on difficult stages and speed up when necessary.
Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville held the third position, trailing Suninen by 13.9 seconds. Toyota’s Elfyn Evans and championship leader Kalle Rovanpera were in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Rovanpera, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Sunday, currently holds a 33-point lead over Evans in the championship standings. With two rallies remaining after Chile, Rovanpera would need to score 28 points more than Evans to secure the title in Chile.
The article was reported by Alan Baldwin in London and edited by Toby Davis.
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