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GP Week : Issue 115
Ott Tanak, protege of former works driver Markko Martin, lead the SWRC categor y from start to finish but there was trouble behind. There was an argument at the start of Stage 3 involving timekeepers and Martin Prokop, lying second behind Tanak, as a result of which Prokop was unilaterally given a four minute penalty, which dropped him back. This let Nasser Al Attiyah get ahead of Prokop until two hours after the finish when the penalty was rescinded. Meanwhile Al Attiyah and Prokop had fires in their Fiestas which helped Juho Hanninen in his chase up the field after earlier trouble with his brakes, and being slowed in the dust of the stricken cars of Prokop and also of Oliveira. By the end of the rally Hanninen had gained second place in front of Al Attiyah and a still angry Prokop. Fifth was to be Bernardo Sousa in an old version Fiesta before he stopped, so Herman Gassner, on only his second rally in a Skoda took that result. Eyvind Brynildsen went off the road on Day 1 and could not carry on, while Karl Kruuda had a series of transmission and electrical troubles with his Skoda and struggled through to finish sixth. Disappointing was the retirement of the popular Albert Llovera, whose Fiat went off the road on the first morning. Tanak finished in a remarkable seventh place in the overall standings, an impressive result on the debut of the more powerful up-rated Fiesta S2000. Tanak’s category win sees him jump from being in equal fourth place after Jordan to holding the joint equal lead with Martin Prokop. Lying third, two points behind was previous leader Karl Kruuda. Tanak dominates Super 2000 44