Tanak closes back in on conservative Ogier
Monte Carlo Rally

Tanak closes back in on conservative Ogier

27/01/2018

Ott Tanak hacked a third out of Sebastien Ogier's Saturday morning Monte Carlo Rally advantage to get the gap at the top down to 39.5 seconds.

Tanak dropped back from Ogier dramatically at the start of the day with what he claimed was a damper problem, and was more than a minute behind going into the second running of the morning's pair of stages at the start of the afternoon.

With reigning World Rally champion Ogier in conservation mode, Tanak bested his 2017 team-mate by 15.3s to win SS11 and the Toyota driver was then second-fastest through SS12 as Ogier dropped another 8.6s to his pursuer in sixth.

However, with only five stages remaining, Ogier's lead is still a healthy one.

A near-perfect Monte Carlo Rally from the trio of Toyota drivers took a small hit when Esapekka Lappi effectively ended his podium chances with a self-induced puncture on SS11.

Jari-Matti Latvala now holds a three-minute advantage in third, with Kris Meeke now fourth.

Lappi ran wide into a snow bank while challenging team-mate Latvala for third, and though he got going swiftly he then had to stop to change a tyre.

That has dropped him to fifth behind Meeke, although the gap is a mere 6.2s after the Citroen driver had to perform a quick U-turn in a field on SS11 and then lost at least 10 seconds on SS12 when he locked up and nudged a snow bank.

Elfyn Evans is on the periphery of the fight for fourth, 23.8s behind Lappi, after two solid stages that the Welshman was not particularly pleased with.

His M-Sport team-mate Bouffier is seventh, but only 12.2s clear of Hyundai's Thierry Neuville.

The i20 WRC driver won SS12 to recover from a nightmare SS11 that featured three offs, including backing his car into a bank of snow and shooting into the same field as Meeke.

Instead of performing a U-turn, Neuville gunned it across the field and rejoined the road over a bank - the same strategy employed by Tanak, who also went off at the same corner, minutes later on his way to the stage's best time.

WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky heads his class by 3m40.6s from young gun Kalle Rovanpera after Ghislain de Mevius hit trouble.

Related news

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious at a mesmerising Chinese Grand Prix after the lead changed several times and drama unfolded among the top six drivers.

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by just 0.087s as Ferrari put in a dominant qualifying performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix as Ferrari dominated the session in cold and windy conditions.

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Mercedes and Ferrari look set for another tight battle at the front of the grid during this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were split by just 0.007s in Friday practice.

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton's bid to become a six-time winner in China got off to a promising start on Friday with the Mercedes driver dominating opening practice on a cool and overcast morning in Shanghai.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season on Sunday night after holding off Valtteri Bottas for victory in a tense finish to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Sebastien Ogier sealed victory in the World Rally Championship's Tour de Corse with a comfortable run through the final two stages of the event on Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow wins in Argentina to lead MotoGP championship

Cal Crutchlow wins in Argentina to lead MotoGP championship

Cal Crutchlow triumphed in a crazy MotoGP race in Argentina, which featured a bizarre start delay and a collision between rivals Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

Vettel secures pole as Ferrari locks out front row in Bahrain

Vettel secures pole as Ferrari locks out front row in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel took pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid under the floodlights at Sakhir.

RELATED NEWS

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win
Chinese Grand Prix

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious at a mesmerising Chinese Grand Prix after the lead changed several times and drama unfolded among the top six drivers.

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position
Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by just 0.087s as Ferrari put in a dominant qualifying performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice
Chinese Grand Prix - FP3

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix as Ferrari dominated the session in cold and windy conditions.

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2
Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Mercedes and Ferrari look set for another tight battle at the front of the grid during this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were split by just 0.007s in Friday practice.

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP
Chinese Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton's bid to become a six-time winner in China got off to a promising start on Friday with the Mercedes driver dominating opening practice on a cool and overcast morning in Shanghai.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win
Bahrain Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season on Sunday night after holding off Valtteri Bottas for victory in a tense finish to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ogier seals Corsica victory
WRC - Rally Corsica

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Sebastien Ogier sealed victory in the World Rally Championship's Tour de Corse with a comfortable run through the final two stages of the event on Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow wins in Argentina to lead MotoGP championship
MOTOGP Argentinian Grand Prix

Cal Crutchlow wins in Argentina to lead MotoGP championship

Cal Crutchlow triumphed in a crazy MotoGP race in Argentina, which featured a bizarre start delay and a collision between rivals Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

Vettel secures pole as Ferrari locks out front row in Bahrain
Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel secures pole as Ferrari locks out front row in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel took pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid under the floodlights at Sakhir.