Ott Tanak has maintained his useful time cushion over Andreas Mikkelsen at the end of SS17 at Rallye Deutschland as he closes in on a second WRC career victory.
"It's a great feeling", said the 29-year-old Tanak.
Stranger things have happened, although he's now sitting in third, 33 points off the lead, with just three rounds of the championship remaining.
Tänak grabbed the lead through Friday's stages and remained at the head of the pack throughout the remainder of the event to triumph, to add to his Rally Italy win. In confident mood, Tanak was able to control his pace through the closing stages and never looked challenged before ultimately taking the win by 16.4 seconds.
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Throughout the day - including after the funeral - White House aides told reporters that they were working on a call . NBC's headline read: " Democratic, Republican Lawmakers Decry Trump's Latest Charlottesville Remarks ".
Behind the leading trio, Juho Hanninen managed to climb to fourth; the Finn overhauled Elfyn Evans in the day's opener when the Welshman overshot a junction and stalled.
Kiwi Paddon was the best of the Hyundai drivers and was happy to bank some valuable championship points in what has been a hard year.
Eric Camilli rounded off the top 10 and also won the FIA WRC 2 Championship category in a Fiesta R5. Pontus Tidemand's third position was enough to secure the Swede an unassailable lead in the category and he provisionally takes the title with three rounds remaining (subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA). "We need to keep winning if we're going to win the championship".
The next WRC event is in Spain in early October.
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