WRC Turkey: Lappi extends lead over Ogier, Neuville close in third

Citroen's Esapekka Lappi has extended his Rally Turkey lead to 17.7 seconds after a tough afternoon, increasing his advantage over reigning World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Ogier

WRC Turkey: Lappi extends lead over Ogier, Neuville close in third

Lappi excelled during the rain-affected second running of the 23.6-mile Cetibeli stage in his C3 on Friday afternoon, despite being on the hard tyre which was ill-suited to the cooler wet weather.

He set the second fastest time on that stage, behind Thierry Neuville, who had been forced to change to three medium tyres just before Cetibeli as a result of a slow puncture, and that changed helped Neuville to set a time 7.6s quicker than Lappi.

Ogier had a clean afternoon to move into second overall but he goes into Saturday only 0.7s ahead of Neuville.

Teemu Suninen moves up to fourth - albeit 26s behind the leading trio - ahead of Hyundai's Andreas Mikkelsen, who described the Cetibeli stage as "driving on ice".

Dani Sordo reported intermittent engine issues with his i20 early on in the afternoon, but went onto complete the final stage of the day 10.9s quicker than anybody else, propelling himself up to sixth position.

A stall did not stop Citroen's Kris Meeke winning the opening stage of the afternoon but he too struggled in the rain, losing over a minute to Neuville in the second test.

Current 2019 points leader Ott Tanak picked up a puncture early-on in the Cetibeli stage and the time loss dropped him down to seventh overall, which turned into eighth after Sordo's blistering Ula performance.

Fellow Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala was another victim on Friday afternoon, losing 50s in the opening stage with puncture, with the problem compounded by the exhaust noise getting into the car and drowning out his pace notes.

M-Sport's Pontus Tidemand is the last of the WRC drivers, 3m45s off Lappi's lead.

Classification - stage seven

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Citroen Total WRT Citroen 1h59m53.7s
2 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Citroen Total WRT Citroen 17.7s
3 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 18.4s
4 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 44.4s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m04.1s
6 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m25.2s
7 Kris Meeke, S.Marshall Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m32.1s
8 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m37.4s
9 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m42.5s
10 Pontus Tidemand, O.Floene M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 3m45.4s
11 Kajetan Kajetanowicz, M.Szczepaniak Kajetan Kajetanowicz Skoda 8m22.4s
12 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport Skoda 9m03.9s
13 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 10m06.2s
14 Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, F.Cretu Marco Bulacia Wilkinson Skoda 11m26.4s
15 Fabio Andolfi, E.Inglesi Fabio Andolfi Skoda 12m54.9s
16 Diogo Salvi, H.Magalhaes Diogo Salvi Skoda 20m59.1s
17 Burak Cukurova, V.Bostanci Burak Cukurova Skoda 25m08.1s
18 Paulo Nobre, G.Morales Paulo Nobre Skoda 28m39.7s
19 Bora Manyera, C.Cerkez Bora Manyera Skoda 31m20.7s
20 Murat Bostanci, O.Vatansever Murat Bostanci Ford 31m38.6s
21 Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio, M.Bosi Fabrizio Arengi Bentivoglio Skoda 34m18.5s
22 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Skoda Motorsport Skoda 38m58.1s
23 Carlo Covi, G.Campesan Carlo Covi Peugeot 53m37.7s

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About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Thierry Neuville , Esapekka Lappi
Author Anna Duxbury
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