The Toyota Yaris WRC led throughout the first full day of Rally GB, with championship leader Ott Tänak moving to the top of the leaderboard this evening following four stage wins. Kris Meeke is third, only 3.6 seconds behind Tänak, after leading for much of the day on his home event.
Fastest on Thursday night’s opening stage at Oulton Park, Meeke took the rally lead into today’s nine stages across north Wales. Heavy rain through the night and morning made the stages particularly muddy and slippery.
The Toyota drivers enjoyed a strong morning in the tricky conditions. While Meeke opened up a six-second advantage out front, Jari-Matti Latvala was joint fastest on SS5 to climb up into third just ahead of Tänak, who won two of the first four stages. Latvala was unfortunately forced to retire from the rally after he crashed on SS7: his car’s rollcage was too badly damaged for a restart to be possible tomorrow.
The second loop of the day ended in darkness, with Tänak excelling to win the final two stages and take over the rally lead from his team-mate. Tänak’s advantage over second place is 3.4s, with Meeke just two tenths of a second further back.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“At first this morning, I wasn’t in the right rhythm with my driving but then in Dyfnant and Aberhirnant it was definitely going much better, even though the grip was changing a lot. In SS7, I came over a crest and the car went light, I lost the rear immediately, we hit the bank and rolled. I just had a little bit too much speed and jumped a bit too far. It’s very disappointing to be out of the rally: not only for myself but also for the team, as it was my job to try to bring some good points for the championship.”
END OF DAY TWO (FRIDAY):
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1h14m30.8s
2 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +3.4s
3 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3.6s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +8.4s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +25.7s
6 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +33.5s
7 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +37.4s
8 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +51.8s
9 Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m56.6s
10 Jan Kopecký/Jan Hloušek (Škoda Fabia R5 Evo) +4m01.1s
Retired Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC)