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WRC - Ott Tänak remains in front with two Rally Chile stages remaining


2023 Rally Chile Biobío - Sunday morning

Ott Tänak is two stages away from winning round 11 of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship.

Driving a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Tänak leads Rally Chile Biobío by a comfortable margin of 51.6s.

Starting Sunday’s deciding action in front by 58.3s, Tänak went for a cautious approach through the opening pair of challenging gravel stages.

“For sure in the back of our minds we have no need to push and we need to keep it safe, we are definitely easing back in places,” said the Estonian. “We should be okay for tyres [for the final loop of stages]. It has been a good weekend, it’s definitely positive but there is still a way to go, the job is not done.”

Thierry Neuville has closed to within 6.7s of Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team team-mate Teemu Suninen in the battle for second place. He started the final leg 13.9s behind Suninen but back-to-back stage wins has enabled the Belgian to close up on the Finn and pull 15.7s clear of fourth-placed Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT driver Elfyn Evans.

World champion and provisional championship leader Kalle Rovanperä, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday, is fifth followed by Takamoto Katsuta, in another Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid.

Oliver Solberg tops the FIA WRC2 category in seventh overall followed by Toksport Škoda team-mates Gus Greensmith and Sami Pajari.

There was drama in the FIA WRC3 category when overnight leader Diego Dominguez completed SS13 with his Ford Fiesta Rally3’s wheel missing following a reported mechanical issue. Although running repairs ensured he could continue and complete SS14, he went over the time limit and was forced to retire.

The penultimate sage of Rally Chile Biobío, Las Pataguas, is due to get under way at 11h40 local time with the Wolf Power Stage following at 13h15.