Spain, SS5-6: Sordo and Latvala share wins
Tänak extends lead in Spain
Dani Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala shared the spoils in Friday afternoon’s opening speed tests at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España – but Ott Tänak continued to pull away at the head of the leaderboard.
Sordo delighted the home fans by edging Latvala by half a second in the repeat pass of Gandesa. But the Finn came out on top in the longer Pesells to defeat Toyota Yaris team-mate Tänak and Craig Breen by 4.0sec.
“The car is feeling very, very good. Everything is now in balance,” explained Latvala, the trademark smile back on his face after his anger over this morning’s puncture. “I was really frustrated but it was nobody’s fault but my own.”
Sordo followed his stage win with fourth in Pesells to close the gap on second-placed Elfyn Evans to 5.1sec with one more test remaining today.
“My rhythm is a little bit better than this morning. If we want to be in the fight then we have to push,” explained the Hyundai i20 driver.
Nobody could make any ground on Tänak, whose lead widened to 14.4sec over Evans. “The beginning was nice but it looks like the dampers can’t manage. They’re overheating,” said the Estonian.
Sébastien Loeb and Breen overhauled Andreas Mikkelsen and Sébastien Ogier to claim fourth and fifth respectively. Less than four seconds covered the quartet.
Latvala’s pace carried him ahead of championship leader and road opener Thierry Neuville. The Belgian had the worst of the slippery gravel and admitted: “I pushed very hard but I can’t do the next stage like this. I will not stay on the road for sure.”
Esapekka Lappi spun his Yaris in Gandesa, the despondent Finn at the bottom of the leaderboard.
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