Busy end of the day in Sardinia, Tänak at the controls

Funny end to the day on the side of the Rally of Sardinia when we seemed to be heading towards a general classification dominated by Ott Tänak (Hyundai) ahead of Craig Breen (M-Sport). Launched in the last special of the day, Adrien Fourmaux (M-Sport) lost control of his Ford Puma and ended his race on the side buried in a tree. The Northerner blocking the road, the race management immediately raised the red flag forcing Dani Sordo (Hyundai) to slow down and finish SS17 at a slow pace.

Finally, the special was restarted after the evacuation of Adrien Fourmaux’s Puma by the tow truck. Waiting at the starting point, Craig Breen could therefore start his time and set off to attack SS17. Then on the attack, the Irishman saw a commissioner waving a red flag. As required by the regulations, he slowed down considerably to reach the finish in slow motion, hoping to be credited with a fixed time. But during this time, his teammate Pierre-Louis Loubet did not reduce the pace, probably not warned by the new neutralization, and completed his special without incident. Everything then led to believe that Breen had been the collateral victim of poor communication on the part of the race director.

Tänak asked to slow down

But in the aftermath, Ott Tänak was seen in slow motion in the last section of SS17. However, his i20 did not appear to be damaged and made no strange noise suggesting a mechanical failure. It was with a time of 11’49“1 that he crossed the finish line. Questioned in stride, the Estonian indicated that the red flag had been signaled to him on his dashboard. Not enough to panic the 2019 world champion who kept the controls of the Rally of Sardinia in front of… Pierre-Louis Loubet since Craig Breen and Dani Sordo rode in step.

After consultation, the college of commissaires decided to allocate a fixed time to Ott Tänak, Craig Breen and Dani Sordo, which is also identical to that of Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), namely 11’18″3. As a result, the Estonian remains in command of this Sardinia Rally with 46 seconds ahead of Breen and 1’46″8 over Sordo. A time of 2nd pending the deliberation of the race direction, Pierre-Louis Loubet logically fell back to 4th place at 1’31″8 from the leader.

General classification after SS17

The complete general classification

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