Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory
WRC Rally Italy

Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory

Ott Tanak took his first ever World Rally Championship victory with first place at Rally Italy, after surviving an attritional event in Sardinia in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.

The event was thrown on its head in a twist on Saturday afternoon, when long-time leader Hayden Paddon crashed his Hyundai into a bank on SS13 and retired on the following road section, gifting Tanak the lead.

The Estonian pushed hard to build up an unassailable gap to Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala, who lost time with a stall on SS17 on Sunday morning, effectively ending his charge.

Latvala was desperate to take powerstage honours but ran wide in a tight left-hander, and was inconsolable at the finish.

Thierry Neuville rounded out the podium, although he would have likely been the one to inherit the lead from Paddon had he not had brake issues on Saturday.

The Belgian driver lost the brakes completely, just as he was closing on Paddon for the lead.

Arguably the star of the weekend was Esapekka Lappi, who won the powerstage to take his sixth stage victory of the weekend, on only his second event in a 2017 WRC car with Toyota.

He had gearbox issues on Friday morning, losing second gear, which cost him time, before winning his first stage of the weekend on the final stage of the loop despite the problems.

Sebastien Ogier looked downcast all weekend, as he swept the road and ended Friday 41 seconds off the lead.

When he wasn't sweeping the road, he suffered from understeer and struggled to find the sweetspot with his M-Sport Fiesta.

Juho Hanninen lost fifth on the final stage with steering issues, but still finished sixth despite crashing on Friday's Tergu SS9, when he had been only 7.9s off the lead on the previous stage.

Mads Ostberg had a problem-filled weekend capped off by his rear-right wheel pointing in the wrong direction on the powerstage, but still got his Fiesta home to finish seventh.

Andreas Mikkelsen headed the Citroen charge on his debut with the team in eighth place.

A puncture was his only worry, as he worked to adapt to a car driven from the rear, contrary to his usual style.

His team-mate Kris Meeke crashed out as he challenged for the lead on Friday, while the final result for Craig Breen looked to be strong in the top 10 before a landing after a jump dislodged the gearbox mounting and forced him out and into Rally2 on Saturday.

Elfyn Evans was another driver to return under Rally2 on Saturday after hitting a tree on Friday and a compression launched the DMACK Fiesta off the road.

Evans and Breen both finished outside of the top 20.

Dani Sordo also suffered with turbo issues, and just to show what could have been, he set multiple stage wins on his way to finish 12th.

Jan Kopecky took WRC2 honours in his Skoda Fabia R5, finishing 9th overall.

Related news

Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas to pole at Paul Ricard, Sebastian Vettel third

Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas to pole at Paul Ricard, Sebastian Vettel third

Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the French Grand Prix as Mercedes eased to a front-row lockout in qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP3 washout

Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP3 washout

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace in final practice for the French Grand Prix, which was mostly devoid of action after unexpected rain.

Lewis Hamilton dominates second French Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton dominates second French Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton kept Mercedes top of the order in second practice for the French Grand Prix with 0.7s in hand over the next quickest car.

Hamilton tops session halted by Ericsson crash

Hamilton tops session halted by Ericsson crash

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in first practice for Formula 1's returning French Grand Prix, as the opening session was ended early by a fiery crash for Marcus Ericsson.

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Toyota Gazoo Racing secured a dominant one-two at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday.

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo scored his second consecutive MotoGP win, converting pole position at Barcelona into a dominant triumph after a short battle with Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP pole position for Ducati in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel retook the lead of the drivers' championship after winning the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville overhauled World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on the last stage in a dramatic conclusion to win Rally Italy by just 0.7 seconds.

RELATED NEWS

Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas to pole at Paul Ricard, Sebastian Vettel third
French Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas to pole at Paul Ricard, Sebastian Vettel third

Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the French Grand Prix as Mercedes eased to a front-row lockout in qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP3 washout
French Grand Prix - FP3

Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP3 washout

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace in final practice for the French Grand Prix, which was mostly devoid of action after unexpected rain.

Lewis Hamilton dominates second French Grand Prix practice
French Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton dominates second French Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton kept Mercedes top of the order in second practice for the French Grand Prix with 0.7s in hand over the next quickest car.

Hamilton tops session halted by Ericsson crash
French Grand Prix - FP1

Hamilton tops session halted by Ericsson crash

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in first practice for Formula 1's returning French Grand Prix, as the opening session was ended early by a fiery crash for Marcus Ericsson.

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display
Le Mans 24 Hours

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Toyota Gazoo Racing secured a dominant one-two at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday.

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win
MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo scored his second consecutive MotoGP win, converting pole position at Barcelona into a dominant triumph after a short battle with Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP
MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP pole position for Ducati in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win
Canadian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel retook the lead of the drivers' championship after winning the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia
WRC Rally Italy

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville overhauled World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on the last stage in a dramatic conclusion to win Rally Italy by just 0.7 seconds.