Jun 15, 2019; Buddoso, Sardegna, Italy; WRC driver Dani Sordo (ESP) crosses a stream during SS12- Monte Lerno 1 of Rally Italia Sardegna, round 8 of the World Rally Championship. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – Spaniard Dani Sordo won the Rally of Italy in Sardinia for Hyundai on Sunday after Toyota’s overnight leader Ott Tanak suffered a steering problem on the final stage and slumped to fifth.
Tanak, who still took over the championship lead from Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier, had been 26.7 seconds clear and heading for his third win in a row going into the final Sassari-Argentiera 2 power stage.
The Estonian, who won all six stages on Saturday’s second leg, then spun and lost two minutes in the late drama.
Finland’s Teemu Suninen finished second for M-Sport Ford, 13.7 seconds behind, with Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen third for Hyundai and claiming five bonus points from the power stage.
The win was Sordo’s first since 2013 and second of his career.
Six-times world champion Ogier hit a rock and retired on Friday but returned to limit the damage by taking four bonus points in the power stage.
Tanak is now four points clear of Ogier in the championship.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar