Esapekka Lappi continues to lead Rally Turkey after Saturday morning’s loop of stages. His Citroën team-mate Sébastien Ogier is second, while his FIA World Rally Championship title rivals Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak both hit trouble.
The rally headed west from Marmaris for a trio of stages along the coast on the Datça peninsula. The roads were generally smoother than those driven on Friday, especially the new, fast and wide Kızlan that rounded out the loop.
Neuville went slowly off the road in the opening Yeşilbelde test, where hanging dust in forest sections made visibility difficult. The Hyundai driver was able to continue, but he lost four minutes and dropped from third overnight to eighth overall.
Today’s fight came to an end for championship points leader Tänak before the following Datça stage, as the Toyota driver was unable to start after a suspected electrical issue prevented his Yaris from firing up.
Ogier opted for a different tyre strategy for the morning with more of the softer medium compound, and this helped him to go fastest in the first stage, an impressive 16.7s quicker than Lappi to reduce his team-mate’s lead to just one second. Lappi was quicker in the following two stages, however, to increase his margin back to 10 seconds.
Andreas Mikkelsen was quickest on SS9 to move ahead of Teemu Suninen and into third overall. Dani Sordo is fifth in the second Hyundai, with the remaining Toyota drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke in sixth and seventh. They are split by just 0.1s after Latvala moved ahead on SS10.
Behind Neuville and Pontus Tidemand, FIA WRC 2 class leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz climbed up to 10th overall with a lead of three minutes over Marco Bulacia. In 11th overall, Škoda’s Jan Kopecký continues to lead FIA WRC 2 Pro over M-Sport Ford’s Gus Greensmith, 20 seconds behind Kajetanowicz.