Tanak takes the helm amid red flag confusion

The 2019 World Champion won six of the day’s eight stages to take the lead in 46 seconds on M-Sport Craig Brinbefore the last phase of the day ends in a strange way.

Officials threw a red flag to suspend Phase 17 to allow recovery Adrian FormoThe doomed M-Sport Ford Puma after the Frenchman rolled off the road and slid out of fifth. The crew got out of the accident unscathed.

the third place Danny Sordo He was the first to encounter the accident. Then the Hyundai driver was pressed by a doomed Puma who partially blocked the road and completed the stage at low speed and would have a virtual time.

The organizers chose to restart the podium but the Field Marshal appeared to mistakenly display a red flag, slowing Brin and Tanak to a crawl.

fourth place Pierre-Louis LoubetWho was ahead of Bryn and Tanak on the road, completed the stage at normal speed to add to the confusion. It is not clear if the M-Sport driver showed a red flag.

National times are expected to be awarded to Brienne and Tanak, but organizers have yet to confirm the overall rating for the day. Championship leader Kali Rovanpera and his Toyota teammate Takamoto Katsuta However he will inherit fifth and sixth place after the Fourmaux crash.

“After the stage resumed following the Formo accident, a red flag was shown to the crews of the Formo accident, and the FIA ​​is investigating the accident,” said a brief statement from the FIA ​​spokesperson.

Craig Breen, Paul Nagel, M Sport, Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally 1

Craig Breen, Paul Nagel, M Sport, Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally 1

Photography: M Sport

The afternoon began with the crews facing sweltering conditions in the afternoon with ambient temperatures reaching more than 35 degrees above the already increasing cockpit temperatures.

The heat failed to distract Tanak as he claimed his fourth consecutive stage win 14 after setting a stinging pace in his i20 N, despite suffering from an engine problem.

Tanak appeared 6.2secs faster than improved Kaley Rovanpera to extend his lead over Brien to 37.2secs as the latter had to overcome a problem with his Puma.

Lopett climbed his attack to third place in the general standings by taking 2.3 seconds off rival Sordo.

In the back, the soft left front tire cost Formo a 34-second fall as he began to fall into the clutches of Rovanpera in the battle for fifth.

Tanak was in command again on stage 15 as he took his sixth stage win of the rally to increase his lead to 45.0s over Brien as the Irishman dropped 7.8s.

Brin was grappling with the issue but didn’t concede anything when asked at the end of the stage.

“The laughing pin fell off the laughing shaft but I managed to get it back, so we’re fine,” he joked when asked about the problem.

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Sordo escaped in fright 300m from the end of the stage when his i20 N briefly slid into a ditch on slippery gravel. However, the Spaniard somehow put the car back in clockwise with the second-fastest time on the stage to move within 12 seconds of Brien.

Katsuta, like Brin, also managed a coolant issue with his GR Yaris and lost 30 seconds in the test.

The second pass during the afternoon saw Tanak remain undefeated as they topped the stage on stage 16.

Tanak admitted he wasn’t pushing but he was still able to take a second off Brien to deny the Ford driver a win in the event’s second stage.

Sordo grabbed his luck again after the i20 N took a big gulp on water splash and stopped briefly. On this occasion, he lost only 1.6s to Lobe in his fight for third place.

Evans had a more serious problem as the left rear suspension collapsed on his GR Yaris causing him to retire for the second time in as many days. The Welshman tried to move on before he set off on the access road.

His fellow Toyota teammate, Katsuta, kept wasting time as he nursed his injured GR Yaris to the finish.

The Sardinia Rally will host four more stages on Sunday.