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Tanak extends Arctic lead as Ogier digs himself out of a snowbank - Metro US

Tanak extends Arctic lead as Ogier digs himself out of a snowbank

WRC Arctic Lapland Rally

(Reuters) – Hyundai’s Ott Tanak extended his Arctic Rally Finland lead to 24.1 seconds on Saturday as world champion Sebastien Ogier crashed into a snowdrift and out of contention.

Estonian Tanak had led overnight after winning Friday’s two stages on snow and ice and he won three of Saturday’s six to build a comfortable advantage with only two stages to come on Sunday.

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera was second and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was in third place, 1.8 behind the Finn after winning the day’s closing stage.

“All in all, everything has gone to plan today,” said Tanak.

“This afternoon we took all the tyres we had and we used them all; it was important just to get through and not make any mistakes.”

Toyota’s Ogier, the championship leader going into the second round of the season, crashed at the end of the day’s final stage and spent 20 minutes digging his car out.

“The tyres were gone…a little bit too much sideways and I hit the bank and then caught the front. It’s a weekend to forget,” the Frenchman told wrc.com.

The snow and ice rally, based in Rovaniemi, is the championship’s first within the Arctic Circle and replaces the Swedish round which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday’s action consists of a 22.47km Aittajärvi stage, completed twice with bonus Power Stage points for the final run through it.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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