OTT Tänak could be on his way to a third-straight win in the FIA World Rally Championship and a boosted chance at the drivers’ title after an unprecedented Saturday of drama at Rally Turkey.
The Estonian, winner of Rally Finland and Rally Germany, finished the day’s eight stages 13.1 seconds ahead of Toyota teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, with New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon a further 57.4 sec behind in third place overall.
Four stages and just less than 35 kilometres lie between Tänak and victory on this 10th round of the 2018 WRC. With championship rivals Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier retiring today and at best able to salvage only Power Stage points on Sunday, a win would lift Tänak from a distant third in the standings to genuine contention.
It could mean Neuville, Ogier and Tänak enter the final phase of the WRC closely matched on points, with the title increasingly likely to be decided at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on 15-18 November.
Saturday saw the demise of not only Neuville and Ogier, but also Esapekka Lappi and Craig Breen (read earlier story HERE).
Outright standings after Saturday: