Tanak extends lead after wet Super Special

Ott Tanak on the Destination New South Wales Super Special Stage

Ott Tanak has further extended his Kennards Hire Rally Australia lead after rain showers struck during the Destination New South Wales Super Special stage.

Rain fell midway through the stage held on Coffs Harbour Jetty offering differing conditions for a large section of the WRC field. 

Tanak held a 9.7s advantage over Toyota team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala heading into the stage but made the most of his early road position to avoid the worst of the conditions. 

As a result, the Estonian has now moved into a 21.9s lead over Latvala, who has now fallen into the clutches of Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon in third. 

Latvala was not impressed by the situation calling for the stage to have been cancelled. 

“For me, this is not fair,” said Latvala. 

“We are waiting two hours here to drive the Super Special. Then some are in dry conditions, some are in wet. 

“It’s not the same race. For me, we should cancel the times. This is stupid.”

The Finn was not the only driver to complain with Citroen’s Mads Ostberg also aggrieved. 

He remains fourth although the gap to Esapekka Lappi (Toyota) in fifth is 3.8s.

Sebastien Ogier remains in a strong position to take out the world championship in sixth for M-Sport Ford. 

The top 10 is completed by Elfyn Evans (M-Sport Ford), Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), Teemu Suninen (M-Sport Ford) and Craig Breen (Citroen). 

Highlights: Stages 13 to 18

Rally Australia: After Special Stage 18 (Top 10)

Pos Num Driver Nat Team Car   Time/Gap
1 8 Ott Tanak EST Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC 2:07:52.0
2 7 Jari-Matti Latvala FIN Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +21.9
3 6 Hayden Paddon NZL Hyundai i20 WRC +26.3
4 10 Mads Ostberg NOR Citroen C3 WRC +46.6
5 9 Esapekka Lappi FIN Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +50.4
6 1 Sebastien Ogier FRA M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +1:44.8
7 2 Elfyn Evans GBR M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +2:04.6
8 5 Thierry Neuville BEL Toyota Gazoo Yaris WRC +2:35.2
9 3 Teemu Suninen FIN M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC +2:49.0
10 11 Craig Breen IRL Citroen C3 WRC +6:26.8

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