Dominant Tanak wins Rally of Sardinia

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Hyundai's Ott Tanak won the Rally of Sardinia on Sunday ahead of Irishman Craig Breen in a Ford, while world championship leader Kalle Rovanperä extended his lead at the top.

On the dirt and gravel roads of the Italian island of Sardinia Tanak took nine of the 18 specials, and had his share of luck on Friday when the last stages were cancelled while he had a transmission problem.

He finished 1min 03.2sec ahead of Breen -- Dani Sordo was third another 30sec adrift.

"We are definitely very happy, especially for the mechanics -- they put in an incredible effort. This rally was not easy and they did a good job to keep the car going," Tanak said of his Hyundai team.

Tanak, the 2019 world champion, took the lead early Saturday and was never under pressure on a highly challenging course as he cruised to his first win since Finland in February 2021.

Breen was delighted with second.

"I'm thrilled. It's been a really good weekend and we're starting to find our feet. The car is getting better and better -- it's taken a bit of time, but she's some yoke," he said.

Rovanpera was fifth here after three consecutive wins at Sweden, Croatia and Portugal gave the 21-year-old a large lead he will take into the sixth event on the calendar in Kenya.

"The most important thing is that we got more points than Thierry (Neuville)," Rovenpera said on Sunday.

Neuville had a dreadful weekend finishing 28th over an hour off the pace.

Rovenpera leads on 120pts to Neuville's 65 ahead of the Rally of Kenya that starts June 23.

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