Tänak drops to fifth after power-steering issue

He lost over nine seconds to Evans on SS10


Ott Tänak has lost fourth place to Elfyn Evans on the Monte Carlo Rally as he lost the power-steering on his M-Sport Ford.

Evans had started Saturday’s second stage just 2.9 seconds behind the M-Sport Ford’s new signing and had looked a real threat to pass Tänak on pace anyway.

But the loss of power-steering aboard Tänak’s Puma meant he was denied the chance to fight, losing 9.2s to Evans’ Toyota to trail by 6.3s overall.

However, Tänak’s worries will be far greater as with no mid-day service, he is unlikely to be able to fix the issue.

Power-steering failure also afflicted Tänak’s M-Sport team-mate Pierre-Louis Loubet on Friday. Loubet made it through three stages without it yesterday but lost bucket-loads of time, and has since retired for the day after hitting a barrier on Saturday’s opening test.

There are no such worries for Toyota and Sébastien Ogier though, who leads the event by 34.6s over team-mate Kalle Rovanperä. He didn’t exactly need to, but Ogier won SS10 anyway – 0.4s faster than Evans.


“It’s a beautiful stage, for me one of the most beautiful of the rally – a bit old school, more bumpy. We had fun, a bit less places where I felt it was dangerous for the punctures so a good stage,” Ogier said.

Rovanperä outpaced a subdued Thierry Neuville by 2.5s to strengthen his grip on second place. Neuville’s bigger concern may be the charging Evans. Although he’s 19.1s behind, he’s closing the gap fast.

Dani Sordo’s Monte Carlo Rally struggles continued on SS10 too as he set the slowest manufacturer Rally1 driver time on the stage – 6.2s slower than the next fastest car.

“First stage I just did really bad, this stage at the beginning I know I did bad but at the end I was trying to do well,” Sordo said.

“But I don’t know. Let’s keep trying and bring the car back.”

Sordo’s seventh overall, 13.5s adrift of Katsuta and now coming under pressure from Hyundai team-mate Esapekka Lappi who’s 13.4s in arrears.

Words:Luke Barry