Tanak takes lead in first Chile rally

Concepción (Chile) (AFP) –


Estonian Ott Tanak grabbed the lead on the maiden Rally of Chile on Friday, opening up a healthy first day lead over six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Tanak, in a Toyota, built up a 23.1sec lead over Ogier in a Citroen and was 29.4sec ahead of teammate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland.

Tanak led from the second stage and claimed three stages in total.

World championship leader and Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville, who arrived in Chile with a 10-point lead over Ogier and 28 points ahead of Tanak after five rounds, was fourth Friday, 31.8sec behind the Estonian.

After Jari-Matti Latvala won the opening stage, the rally turned into a top-three shootout.

Many drivers commented on the foggy conditions and forested course.

"There is low visibility in some places, but it is not so bad up to this point," said Ogier.

Briton Kris Meeke said: "We can't see through the many trees and the lack of grip is remarkable."