MOTORSPORT NEWSRally

Rally Wales GB: SS12-SS14: Tänak narrows Ogier lead

Ott Tänak reeled off three consecutive special stage wins to eat into Sébastien Ogier’s lead at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB on Saturday.The Estonian dominated the second pass through Pantperthog, Dyfi and Gartheiniog in his Ford Fiesta RS to reclaim 11.5sec from the Frenchman. He reduced the gap between the pair to 24.8sec with two speed tests remaining in the penultimate leg.

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Although the fog had subsided, the gravel forest tracks remained greasy but Tänak was enjoying them. “This kind of polished road is definitely good news for our tyres. They are working well in these conditions so I pushed hard,” he said.

Ogier insisted there was no easing off in his Volkswagen Polo R. “I’m still pushing as much as I can. We’re doing everything we can to try to keep the gap because we know tomorrow it will be hard to keep Ott behind us,” he said.

Thierry Neuville claimed top three times in all three tests to retain third in his Hyundai i20, 14.4sec ahead of team-mate Hayden Paddon. The New Zealander made changes to his i20’s set-up and while he felt more comfortable, they made no improvement to the traction.

With no more spare tyres available, Kris Meeke steered a cautious path through the stages in his Citroën DS 3. The Ulsterman was more than a minute ahead of Dani Sordo, with Mads Østberg continuing to fend off Jari-Matti Latvala in seventh.

Østberg’s co-driver, Ola Fløene, was nursing a bizarre injury. The Norwegian was sporting a bite mark on his hand and believes he may have been the victim of a snake!

Stéphane Lefebvre and Eric Camilli completed the leaderboard.