Bulletproof Tänak blitzes rivals in Italy’s opener

Ott Tänak delivered a near-perfect performance to lead Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Dani Sordo after Friday’s punishing opening leg at Rally Italia Sardegna. After dominating the previous round in Portugal only to retire from the lead, the Estonian was fastest out of the blocks on the Mediterranean holiday island. A fifth straight win was followed by a brace of second fastest times. He traded places with championship leader Sébastien Ogier before reeling off three fastest times to end the day 16.8sec clear of the Frenchman’s Toyota Yaris. Set-up changes had a positive effect and the Belgian ended on a high, sharing fastest time in the final stage with team-mate Sordo. Kalle Rovanperä was initially Tänak’s closest challenger but the Finn retired his Yaris with broken front right suspension in this morning’s final stage.

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