Rally Chile - 2nd Day - 1st Loop: Tanak distances his rivals with a clever tyre strategy as Toyota falters

At the end of Saturday morning, Ott Tanak remains the leader of Rally Chile with Teemu Suninen and Thierry Neuville following him.

Ott Tanak extends his lead over his rivals at the end of Saturday morning, as he set the fastest time in Stage 8 and 9, and was the only Rally driver who carried four hard tyres.

Teemu Suninen took back his second place after the end of Stage 9 as he chose to have three hard and one soft tyre on the final stage of the loop. He dropped to third overall at the end of Stage 7 as he mentioned understeer in the beginning and oversteer in the end of SS7 while his gap from the second Evans was at 11,5 seconds after the end of SS8.

Thierry Neuville completes the 2-3 for Hyundai Motorsport despite the fact that he slipped behind Kalle Rovanpera at the end of Stage 7 after his suffering from a puncture there. However, he managed to get his fourth place back from Rovanpera at the end of Stage 8 with their gap being at 2,6 seconds before the start of SS9.

Elfyn Evans lost two places in one single stage and is now fourth after his suffering from a double rear puncture in SS9 as Toyota's tyre strategy was wrong for the morning loop. More specifically, all Toyota drivers carried two hard and two soft tyres, but they could not manage them correctly for the final stage of the morning resulting in suffering from delaminations on the rear soft tyres. Last but not least, it must be mentioned that Evans moved ahead of Suninen after the end of SS7 and their gap was only at 0,8 seconds.

Kalle Rovanpera started the Saturday morning from fifth position, but he climbed to fourth after Neuville's puncture in SS7. However, the Finn driver was struggling with his Yaris and the tyre strategy in SS7 and SS8 respectively, but he was quicker than Evans for almost ten seconds in SS9 which means that their gap is now reduced to 27,9 seconds.

Takamoto Katsuta follows their teammates on the classification and was among the Toyota drivers who completed Stage 9 with a delaminated rear tyre.

Gregoire Munster remains in seventh place overall and reported a launch control problem at the end of the opening Saturday stage while he had a spin in SS9.

Oliver Solberg, Sami Pajari and Alberto Heller complete the top ten.

Heller had a half spin in Stage 8 while he suffered from a double rear puncture on the final stage of the morning loop.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS9:

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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