Ott Tanak reacts to leading Rally Poland after thrilling opener

Ott Tanak reacts to leading Rally Poland after thrilling opener

Festus Chuma 12:48 - 28.06.2024

Rally Poland opens with Hyundai's Ott Tanak leading by a second after a vibrant start amidst a packed crowd.

Hyundai driver Ott Tanak kicked off the ORLEN 80th Rally Poland with a flourish, securing a narrow lead after Thursday evening’s pulsating opening stage.

Amidst the enthusiastic cheers of countless fans gathered in Mikolajki’s main square, Tanak topped the timesheets, edging out his teammate Thierry Neuville by a mere second.

The event marked a significant moment as Poland welcomed the FIA World Rally Championship back into its embrace after a long hiatus.

. "I enjoy this stage and I enjoy these roads, but they are not easy at all," Tanak told WRC.

"Everything needs to be spot on, and you need to have full confidence in everything around you. We will find out tomorrow how we are feeling."

The rally began with a ceremonial start in Mikolajki’s main square, where thousands of passionate fans gathered to kick off the festivities.

The excitement continued as drivers tackled the two-at-a-time super special stage at the service park.

Elfyn Evans, who is currently third in the championship standings, is not far behind, trailing Neuville by just 0.3 seconds.

Meanwhile, Toyota GR Yaris teammate Takamoto Katsuta is close on his heels, another three-tenths back, with Andreas Mikkelsen rounding out the early top five.

The event was not without its difficulties, as Gregoire Munster of M-Sport Ford Puma experienced a setback when his car's windscreen cracked after being hit by stones from Katsuta’s vehicle.

Munster ended the day in eighth place, trailing behind Adrien Fourmaux and Kalle Rovanpera.

Martiņs Sesks and Oliver Solberg completed the top 10.

Safety remained paramount, highlighted by the incident involving eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Vincent Landais, who were harmed in a head-on collision.

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