Chile WRC: Tanak leads Ogier after tough first morning

Toyota’s Ott Tanak leads the way after the opening three stages of the WRC’s inaugural Rally Chile, heading Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville after a challenging first morning.

Chile WRC: Tanak leads Ogier after tough first morning

The trio are separated by 6.6 seconds overall after the first morning of the new rally, and moved well clear of the rest on the 30.72km El Puma SS2.

Those who ran after them complained about a particular shortage of grip on a hard, polished surface. It left Tanak in the overall lead, 2.9s clear of Citroen's Ogier, while Tanak’s Toyota teammate Kris Meeke was left 12.4s off in fourth place.

Read Also:

Points leader Neuville meanwhile got a notional second stage time – 6.6s slower than Tanak’s stage-topping mark – as the red-flag was given with only him out, a few kilometres in, as the FIA safety delegate had not cleared the stage.

His notional time, which he described as “very bad”, left him third overall in his Hyundai i20 Coupe, 7.3s off leader Tanak after two stages.

Neuville then bounced back in the Espigado 22.26km third stage, benefiting from fresher tyres after not doing stage two in anger. He topped the SS3 times, 0.7s faster than Tanak, to end the morning third overall, 6.6s off Tanak at the top and just 0.5s off second-placed Ogier. 

Both Tanak and Ogier made a similar error at the same spot of the opening 17.11km El Pinar stage, when they overshot and stalled after a short bridge.

Ogier lost around 2s in his incident and Tanak around 5s in his. Tanak at the stage end also hinted at needing to “fix” things on his Yaris. He confirmed after the second stage that the problem had been sorted, but added throughout that he was unhappy with his driving.

Tanak’s Toyota stablemate Jari-Matti Latvala, with whom Meeke had topped stage one, ended the morning fourth overall 12.9s off the lead after an amazing SS3 time, just 0.2s off Neuville’s despite running seventh on the road.

Meeke is fifth overall, 27.8s off the top, followed by Elfyn Evans just 1.8s further back in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

Hyundai’s Sebastien Loeb is seventh overall after the opening loop, 38.1s off the lead, while his teammate Andreas Mikkelsen is eighth, 1m11.9s off the pace after losing time hitting a rock on the first stage.

M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen is a further 2.2s back in ninth, feeling unable to trust his notes.

Citroen’s Esapekka Lappi meanwhile lost around 20s on stage one after having to reverse due to running wide in a corner following a watersplash, though he didn’t hit anything.

He is 10th and last of the WRC runners overall, 1m40.2s off Tanak.

shares
comments
WRC teams warn time running out for 2022 hybrid switch

Previous article

WRC teams warn time running out for 2022 hybrid switch

Next article

Neuville angry over time loss after botched stage start

Neuville angry over time loss after botched stage start
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Chile
Drivers Ott Tanak , Thierry Neuville , Sébastien Ogier
Author Graham Keilloh
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021