Home boy Tanak takes Estonia lead

Tartu (Estonia) (AFP) –

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World champion Ott Tanak grabbed the lead on his home Rally of Estonia on Saturday, the first race in six months due to the coronavirus.

Tanak, in a Hyundai, went to the top of the charts in the morning and never looked back.

He finished the day with an 11.7sec advantage over teammate Craig Breen with six-time champion Sebastien Ogier, in a Toyota, 28.7sec off the pace.

Ogier, the world championship leader when the series was halted in mid-March by the pandemic, saw his push hindered by a flat tyre.

Belgium's Thierry Neuville, in another Hyundai, was forced to pull out on stage seven, the afternoon's opening stage, when he lost a rear wheel.

Neuville was third at the time but his suspension was smashed when he hit a rut and bounced off a bank.

He drove five kilometres to the end of the stage on three wheels.