Estonia ERC: World Rally Championship ace Tanak dominates day one
World Rally Championship star Ott Tanak dominated day one of his home round of the European Rally Championship in Estonia
Driving for Markko Martin's M-M team, Tanak was fastest on every full-length stage bar one as he opened up a 44.2-second lead over team-mate and countryman Timmu Korge.
Tanak even had a time for a half-spin on the opener and still proved quickest.
Fellow Estonian Martin Kangur, who had topped Thursday's qualifying session, was second to Tanak after SS1 but crashed on the next stage.
The ERC regulars have struggled to make an impression so far, with a concerned championship leader Esapekka Lappi feeling his Super 2000-spec Skoda Fabia lacked sufficient power for the very fast stages.
He ended Friday only fifth, behind the Production category Mitsubishis of Russian Alexey Lukyanuk and local man Rainer Aus. Lukyanuk was quickest on the only stage that Tanak did not top, and is just 3.2s behind second-placed Korge.
WRC3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet is making his ERC debut on the event in Citroen's new DS3 R5, but has insisted he is driving conservatively to test for Rally Finland and is a quiet 10th.
Leading positions after SS9: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Ott Tanak M-M Ford 58m18.1s 2. Timmu Korge M-M Ford +44.2s 3. Alexey Lukyanuk EAMV-RPM Mitsubishi +47.4s 4. Rainer Aus Carglass Mitsubishi +1m07.0s 5. Esapekka Lappi Skoda +1m25.9s 6. Sepp Wiegand Skoda +1m48.7s 7. Karl Kruuda ME3 Peugeot +1m56.1s 8. Siim Plangi Sainteloc Peugeot +2m01.7s 9. Roland Murakas Prorehv Mitsubishi +2m05.7s 10. Sebastien Chardonnet MY Citroen +2m06.7s
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