WRC Sardinia leader Tanak "quite lucky" after tyre scare on final stage

Rally Sardinia leader Ott Tanak says he was “quite lucky” after a tyre scare threatened to hamper his run through the final stage of the day.

WRC Sardinia leader Tanak "quite lucky" after tyre scare on final stage

The Hyundai driver had been imperious for the majority of Friday, winning five of the eight stages to build up a 19.4s lead over team-mate Dani Sordo, with Toyota’s Sebastian Ogier 36.2s back in third.

However, the Estonian suffered a Pirelli tyre delamination towards the end of the second run through the 14.97km Erula-Tula stage.

Tanak finished 5.6s behind team-mates Sordo and Thierry Neuville, who posted identical times to top the stage.

The Estonian admitted it was lucky the tyre drama struck on a slow section of the stage, revealing that these issues are always “a bit scary” to manage.

“Apart from the last stage with the tyre issues I would say the rest has been quite good," said Tanak.

“Basically I knew what happened we have had it recently. It is a bit of a lottery with this delamination. I was quite lucky that the end of the stage was so slow so I could carry it to the finish but for sure it is always a bit scary when these things happen.”

Tyre scare aside, Tanak produced a faultless drive to warrant high praise from Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo.

“Clearly, it has been a tricky day, but we know very well that Sardinia is a difficult rally," said Adamo.

“This morning was tough, but we saw some improvements in the afternoon.

“Ott has done something quite amazing; he’s been in his own world. He has found a good compromise between being fast and not abusing the car’s speed.

“Dani has improved during the day, while Thierry - at the very minimum - we can say he has had an eventful day. We hope tomorrow he will be able to catch up.”

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

Tanak was not the only Hyundai driver to suffer tyre issues as Neuville encountered two punctures in what turned out to be a challenging day for the Belgian.

The championship contender lacked confidence in the morning stages dropping significant time to his team-mates and the Toyota duo of Ogier and Elfyn Evans.

However, he did finish the day strongly with a stage win that leaves him in fifth position, 1.2s behind Evans.

“It was a difficult day for us. I struggled with confidence in the first stages,” said Neuville.

“I didn’t get a good feeling, so we decided to go progressively throughout the day to get the speed. We changed a lot on the car, we went in the right direction with the settings.

“The car was a bit stiff this morning and we couldn’t get the traction, but things worked better this afternoon.

“Unfortunately, two punctures cost us a huge amount of time. I think we would have been able to close the gap to Sebastien without them.

"As a result, we lost a position on the road order for Saturday, but this rally is not over and maybe tomorrow is a positive turn and we might be free of issues.”

Rally Sardinia continues on Saturday with a further eight special stages beginning at 0708 BST.

shares
comments

Related video

Sardinia WRC: Tanak holds comfortable lead from Sordo

Previous article

Sardinia WRC: Tanak holds comfortable lead from Sordo

Next article

Sardinia WRC: Ogier grabs lead as Tanak retires after hitting rock

Sardinia WRC: Ogier grabs lead as Tanak retires after hitting rock
Load comments
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021