Poland WRC: Tanak mistake gives Neuville big lead

Thierry Neuville now has a clear run at Rally Poland victory after a mistake from his lead rival Ott Tanak on Sunday morning.

Poland WRC: Tanak mistake gives Neuville big lead
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

Tanak had grabbed first place back from Neuville by setting the pace on the opening Orzysz stage, where the M-Sport Ford beat the Hyundai by 4.9 seconds and moved ahead overall by 1.8s.

But on the following Paprotki stage, Tanak clipped a bank and pitched himself into a spin, doing severe front end damage to his Fiesta.

He limped to the stage finish, losing nearly a minute and a half and falling behind the second Hyundai of Hayden Paddon to third overall.

But with no midday service Tanak will not be able to carry out sufficient repairs to contest the final two stages and is set to retire.

With the rain that blighted Friday having returned, most of the field began the final morning very cautiously.

Paddon in particular described his tactics as a "Sunday drive" and the new second-place man is 1m03.3s behind Neuville.

Sebastien Ogier is set to move up to third if his teammate Tanak has to retire, while M-Sport's World Rally Car rookie Teemu Suninen will advance into the top five behind Dani Sordo's Hyundai.

Further back, a mistake from Andreas Mikkelsen dropped him back behind Juho Hanninen into what will become 10th, while Craig Breen has cleared the WRC2 field and will be 11th.

Results after SS21:

Pos. Driver Car Time/Gap
1 BEL Thierry Neuville Hyundai 2h25m39.6s

2

NZL Hayden Paddon Hyundai +1m03.3s
3 EST Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford +1m43.1s
4 FRA Sebastien Ogier M-Sport Ford +2m08.9s
5 ESP Dani Sordo Hyundai +2m30.3s
6 FIN Teemu Suninen M-Sport Ford +2m47.2s
7 FRA Stephane Lefebvre Citroen +3m02.5s
8 NOR Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford +3m28.0s
9 GBR Elfyn Evans M-Sport Ford +4m22.9s
10 FIN Juho Hanninen Toyota +4m28.5s
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Poland WRC: Neuville catches Tanak to set up Sunday decider
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