Thursday , July 29 2021

Tanak moves into conflict in Australia when Breen fades

Ott Tanak kept alive his hopes of winning the World Rally Championship by moving to lead the Australian Rally as Craig Breen slipped back after suffering car problems.

Estonia must win the final race of the season and claim maximum bonus points at Sunday's power stage to have the chance to overhaul Sebastien Ogier.

Tanak gave himself a chance with a strong appearance on Saturday, winning six of the 10 speed tests to go up from fifth to first and setting a 21.9-second advantage over his teammate at Toyota Jari-Matti Latvala.

But Ford Ogier remained in pole position to win a sixth consecutive title after staying in his comfort zone on the New South Wales gravel road to sit sixth.

Thierry Neuville, the third man in the title frame, struggled in conditions and eighth.

Waterford man Breen was second after the first day in New South Wales, but the tire and tire problems slowed him down and he is now in 10th place, almost six and a half minutes behind Tanak.

Tanak said on "Today is back to a normal day at the office, yesterday there were too many problems. I know that well, he's a smart person, but we will target our work and you never know what can happen."

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