Rally Sardinia - 2nd Day - 1st Loop: Tanak steals Ogier's lead after a tight battle, Neuville off the road [+video]

At the end of Saturday morning, Ott Tanak is the new leader of Rally Italia Sardegna with Sebastien Ogier and Takamoto Katsuta following him.

Ott Tanak stormed into the lead of Rally Sardinia at the end of Stage 7 and was the fastest driver in SS5 and SS8. In fact, he managed to steal Sebastien Ogier's lead at the end of Stage 5 and their gap was only at one tenth of a second, but he slipped behind his Toyota rival after SS6. However, he completed Stage 5 with a bonnet open on his side, but he was able to extend further his advantage over Ogier after SS8. Finally, it must be mentioned that he was very close in winning Stage 7, but he was beaten by Thierry Neuville for 0,1 seconds.

Ogier dropped to second place at the end of Stage 7, but he managed to retake his lead from Tanak at the end of SS6 by his setting the fastest time there. The Frenchman suffered from tyre issues as his tyre was off the rim since the beginning of Stage 5 and reported at the end of SS6 that the wheel was bent and was leaking. Moreover, he completed the final stage of Saturday morning with a rear left tyre slightly off the rim and is now 3,5 seconds behind Tanak.

Takamoto Katsuta completes the 2-3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing after Neuville's accident and was very lucky that he did not damage the suspension of his Yaris in Stage 7 as he hit the front right very hard on a corner.

Dani Sordo dropped from third to fifth at the end of Stage 5, but will give a fight with Katsuta for the third place as their margin is at 17,1 seconds. The Spaniard backed off his pace in Stage 8 when he saw his teammate, Neuville, being off the road and lost his concentration.

Elfyn Evans is 23 seconds behind Sordo and stands at fifth place, but once again he was struggling with the behavior of his Yaris and completed Stage 8 with a tyre off the rim.

Gregoire Munster is the top M-Sport Ford driver and is seventh overall behind Sami Pajari while he tried to adopt to the new set-up of his Puma as the mechanics changed it yesterday night. In addition to that, he was losing the front brakes in Stage 8, thus he had to slow down.

Adrien Fourmaux restarted today under the SuperRally regulations following his retirement on Friday due to electrical issues, but he drove slowly in Stage 8 as he lost the front brakes.

Thierry Neuville managed to climb to third overall at the end of Stage 5 and to be the fastest driver in Stage 7. He reported a small intercom issue during Stage 7, but his effort to extend further his championship lead was destroyed in Stage 8 as he had a spin 15.5 Km into SS8 resulting in going off the road and his i20N being stuck into a ditch.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after the end of SS8:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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