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Tanak buries back-to-back misery in Chile as Ogier takes championship lead

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Concepción (Chile) (AFP)

Estonia's Ott Tanak swept to victory on the Rally of Chile on Sunday ahead of six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier who reclaimed the overall lead in the 2019 title race.

Ogier, in a Citroen, now has 122 points after six rounds with Toyota driver Tanak in second place with 112 points as both drivers made the most of previous leader Thierry Neuville crashing out of the race on Saturday in his Hyundai.

Neuville, who needed hospital treatment after his crash, retired from the race on Saturday night and now stands third in the standings on 110 points.

"It was very important for the team to win after two successive disappointments while we were in the lead," said Tanak who was sixth in Corsica following a puncture and eighth in Argentina, after his car suffered a mechanical problem.

"We are proving once again that we have what it takes to win, we keep pushing, we have what we need and we can do it."

Nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb was third on Sunday to mark his first podium finish as a Hyundai driver.

"The Rally of Chile has been a difficult but enjoyable and productive event from my point of view," said Loeb.

"It's been a long time since I've felt so comfortable inside a car that I can be in the game. The Hyundai has given me that feeling and it shows we are heading in the right direction."

Tanak finished the race with a 23.1 sec advantage to claim his second win of the season after triumphing in Sweden while Ogier edged out fellow Frenchman Loeb by 7.1sec.

The seventh round of the world championship takes place in Portugal from May 30-June 2.

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