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Tänak Takes Early Lead at Orlen Rally Poland


Mikołajki, Poland – The 80th edition of Orlen Rally Poland, one of the oldest events in the WRC Calendar, made a thrilling return to the championship for the first time since 2017. Thursday night saw Ott Tänak take an early lead in the super-special stage at Mikołajki Arena, beating Thierry Neuville by 1.0 seconds. The opening stage set the tone for what promises to be an exciting rally.

SS1: Mikołajki Arena

  • 1st Place: Ott Tänak – 1:42.5
  • 2nd Place: Thierry Neuville – +1.0sec
  • 3rd Place: Elfyn Evans – +1.3sec

Tänak’s impressive performance gave him an early advantage, with the Hyundai duo of Neuville and Evans close behind. The drivers now face a challenging day ahead as they navigate the gravel roads, with Tänak, Neuville, and Evans opening the road. This could potentially disadvantage them compared to later runners such as Kalle Rovanperä, Takamoto Katsuta, and Adrien Fourmaux.

Driver Reactions from SS1:

  • Ott Tänak: “I enjoy this stage, I enjoy these roads. But they are not easy at all, everything needs to be spot on. You need to have full confidence in everything around you so we will find out tomorrow what we are feeling.”
  • Thierry Neuville: “It’s gonna be crazy for sure. First car on the road won’t be easy but it’s a challenge we have to face and I am looking forward to it. It looks like it could be fun.”
  • Elfyn Evans: “It’ll be a change of pace from this, looking forward to the day, try to enjoy it and see what comes.”

WRC2 Highlights

  • 1st Place: Miko Marczyk – 1:49.5
  • 2nd Place: Kajetan Kajetanowicz – +0.2sec
  • 3rd Place: Emil Lindholm – +0.4sec

Miko Marczyk, competing in his home rally, set the fastest time in WRC2, narrowly edging out fellow countryman Kajetan Kajetanowicz. The competition in WRC2 is expected to be fierce with several local heroes and international stars battling for the top spot.

Friday Morning Stages

  • Stage 2: Gmina Mrągowo (15.5 km)
  • Stage 3: Wieliczki (19.4 km)
  • Stage 4: Świętajno (18.2 km)

Drivers will face a mix of fast, flowing gravel roads and technical sections that will test their skills and endurance. The weather is expected to be dry and sunny, providing good conditions for high-speed action.