Ott Tanak’s third successive victory in the World Rally Championship has taken Toyota into the lead of the manufacturer’s series and propelled him up to second in the driver’s standings.
The Yaris WRC’s of Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala finished first and second on the grueling event, where all the other leading championship contenders struck trouble.
Kiwi Hayden Paddon scored his first podium of the season in finishing third. Tanak is now only 13 points behind Thierry Neuville in the driver’s series with three rounds of the championship remaining, while Toyota has a seven points lead in the makes series.
“This rally was so difficult. From the beginning, we knew that it will not be the fastest driver that will win this rally but that it would be the smartest,” said Tanak.
“We were the most consistent and we managed to do the whole rally without any issues or having to stop on any of the stages. It’s been a great team effort and they have been able to build a very strong car. The championship is now wide open so let's keep pushing.”
Estonian Tanak had previously won the Finland and German rounds of the series.
Rally Turkey provided a considerable test to all the teams and crews, with entirely new stages over rough and rocky gravel roads that were extremely demanding for the cars and tyres. In a rally of attrition only five World Rally Cars completed the event without having to retire from at least one of the three legs.
Tänak and Latvala occupied fifth and fourth positions at the end of Friday and through measured driving took over at the top of the leader board on Saturday afternoon as both Neuville, Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen who all led the event struck problems.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY TURKEY
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h59m24.5s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +22.3s
3 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m46.3s
4 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m10.9s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +7m11.7s
6 Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (Skoda Fabia R5) +13m40.6s
World Driver’s Championship points:
1, Neuville, 177; 2, Tanak, 164; 3, Ogier, 154; 4, Lappi 88; 5=, Mikkelsen, Latvala, 75.
World Manufacturer’s Championship Points:
1, Toyota 284; Hyundai, 279; Ford, 237; Citroen, 159.