Suninen storms into Rally Chile lead

Erstwhile leader Elfyn Evans slipped from first to third on the first stage of the afternoon


Teemu Suninen has stormed into the lead of Rally Chile while Elfyn Evans slipped from first to third.

Suninen had a good Friday morning, ending it just 2.6 seconds off Evans’ lead but was convinced he could go faster.

And the Finn proved that to be the case on the first stage of the afternoon, outpacing next-fastest Ott Tänak by an impressive 3.7s. That earned the Hyundai driver a 3.8s lead.

Tänak himself moved up a position at Evans’ expense – the Toyota driver now just one spot ahead of his World Rally Championship title rival Kalle Rovanperä who is struggling as the first car on the road.

The reigning world champion admitted SS4 was particularly tricky as lines from the two-wheel-drive cars, and even spectator cars between the first and second pass, created a difficult line to sweep.

Thierry Neuville suffered a difficult morning, finding his Hyundai “scary” to drive, but his pace improved on SS4 with a third fastest time.

That places him just 6.4s behind Rovanperä in fifth overall, with Takamoto Katsuta 7.2s back in sixth.