Tanak leads Rally of Chile as Rovanpera waits for title party

Author: APP

Concepción, Chile: Ott Tanak stormed into a convincing lead in the Rally of Chile as Kalle Rovanpera looked increasingly likely to have to wait to be crowned as a back-to-back world champion.

Behind the wheel of an M-Sport/Ford, 2019 world champion Tanak was 41.7 seconds ahead of Finland’s Teemu Suninen in a Hyundai.

Another Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville of Belgium was third, 53.4 seconds off the lead.

Toyota’s Rovanpera was fifth, 1 min 30.2 sec off the lead with teammate and closest world championship rival Elfyn Evans in fourth and holding a 25-second advantage.

Rovanpera arrived in Chile with a 33-point lead in the championship over his Welsh rival with 90 points still up for grabs over the three remaining races.

Rovanpera can still be crowned champion on Sunday but he needs to win the race and hope Evans fails to score more than three points.

On Sunday, the race concludes with four stages, the last of which is a power stage allowing the top five drivers to score additional points in the championship.

The final two rounds of the world championship are the Central European Rally, a new addition to the calendar, in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, in late October with Japan hosting the 13th and final leg in November.

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