WRC Sardinia: Tanak leads Breen as Neuville rolls into retirement

Published: 18, Jun 2022

Tanak personal three of the four morning stages to move into a 30.9s margin over Breen as the pair benefited from Lappi crashing out of the lead on the morning’s first stage.

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo moved into third, with the Spaniard 14s superiority of M-Sport’s Pierre-Louis Loubet, who lost third to a tyre issue, while Adrien Fourmaux was fifth.

Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera unfurled to struggle on the gravel roads and ended the morning in sixth, increasingly than two minutes yonder from the lead.

Neuville’s hopes of salvaging points came to an end without roll on Stage 12, resulting in a retirement.

An extremely hot morning began with drama as overnight rally leader Lappi crashed out on the opening stage of the day.

The Toyota suburbanite hit a pinch that pushed the car into a waddle squatter and a series of impacts to the rear of the car followed, resulting in the left-rear wheel and suspension stuff ripped from the GR Yaris.

Lappi’s retirement handed Tanak the lead and it was an wholesomeness the Estonian made the most of as he won Stage 11 by 6.7s from Breen, who moved to second overall.

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Neuville mounted a tuition up the leaderboard by setting the third fastest time despite stuff third on the road. The effort came despite coming wideness a dog in the stage that required the Belgian to transiently stop.

Neuville’s Hyundai team-mate Sordo leapt to third overall without taking wholesomeness of an issue for Loubet, who saw his front-right tyre come off the rim towards the end of the stage.

Tanak unfurled his tuition by winning Stage 11 to proffer his lead over Breen to 31.8s as the Irishman lost ground to a charging Sordo, who pumped in the third fastest time.

Hyundai enjoyed a 1-2-3 on the stage as Neuville emerged as Tanak’s nearest rival on the stage, just 3.3s shy.

Rovanpera showed signs of improved pace to sally fourth fastest having struggled for grip on the loose stages.

After suffering tyre issue on the previous test, Loubet lost increasingly time with an overshoot at a right hander, but remained in a well-appointed fourth overall.

The third stage of the loop provided flipside wrack-up for Neuville as the Belgian’s mini resurgence came to an unreticent halt when he rolled his i20 N on Stage 12.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Neuville clipped his left rear on a waddle which flipped the car upside down. Aided by co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe, the pair righted the car and unfurled transiently surpassing exiting the stage with steam pouring out of the engine.

The stage was personal by Breen, his second stage win of the season, as he clawed two seconds when from leader Tanak.

Loubet emerged third fastest to move to within 6.5s of Sordo in the wrestle for third. The latter appeared to work on his car at the stage end.

Tanak completed a dominant morning by taking the Stage 13 honours by 0.8s from Sordo, who had to deal with a flapping bonnet on his i20 N.

Rovanpera’s struggles were highlighted by a rare half spin as the Finn battled his GR Yaris to eighth fastest on the stage.

“I have been struggling the whole weekend in these kinds of slow places,” said Rovanpera.

Crews will tackle four increasingly stages this afternoon without a unenduring re-group and tyre fitting zone.