Courtesy of WRC Media Service
Back-to-back victories on Sunday create gap at the head of the championship.
Ott Tänak secured
back-to-back Neste Rally Finland victories on Sunday to create daylight
between himself and his rivals at the head of the FIA World Rally
success banished memories of the crushing disappointment last time out
in Italy, when broken steering on his Toyota Yaris deprived him of
victory a handful of kilometres from the finish.
Finland is the fastest event on the WRC calendar.
Smooth gravel roads that wind around forests and lakes near Jyväskylä,
huge jumps and blind corners over crests demand the utmost bravery – and
this year’s encounter did not disappoint.
Roared on by
thousands of Estonian fans who crossed the Baltic Sea to support him,
Tänak shrugged off the disadvantage of opening Friday’s slippery roads
to fight tooth and nail with team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke and Citroën C3 pilot Lappi.
of a second blanketed the quartet until Latvala and Meeke hit the same
rogue rock on Saturday and fell away, while Lappi could not match
Tänak eased through Sunday’s short final leg and
ensured a maximum score by winning the Wolf Power Stage to gain five
“It’s been a big weekend. I believe the summer
break came at the right time as I was really devastated after Italy. Now
we got the perfect result and we need to continue in the same way.
There are still five rallies to go, so there’s a big job to do,” he
Second for 2017 rally winner Lappi represented a
welcome return to form after a lean season. He finished 7.6sec clear of
Latvala, who recovered his composure after his rock-bashing escapade
which punctured a rear tyre.
was another to rediscover his pace. Driving a Hyundai i20, he held off
Ogier by 2.7sec to finish fourth. Ogier battled sickness for the final
two days but fended off Craig Breen in their three-way fight.
Breen impressed on his first WRC drive in an i20 and the Irishman lent a helping hand to team-mate Thierry Neuville
in the Belgian’s title bid. He deliberately incurred a 20sec penalty,
allowing Neuville to leapfrog him into sixth and score extra points.
championship reverts to asphalt in Germany later this month for the
first time since March. ADAC Rallye Deutschland is based at Bostalsee on
22 – 25 August.
1. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Toyota Yaris 2hr 30min 40.3sec
2. E Lappi / J Ferm FIN Citroën C3 +25.6sec
3. J-M Latvala / M Anttila FIN Toyota Yaris +33.2sec
4. A Mikkelsen / A Jaeger NOR Hyundai i20 +53.4sec
5. S Ogier / J Ingrassia FRA Citroën C3 +56.1sec
6. T Neuville / N Gilsoul BEL Hyundai i20 +1min 32.4sec
FIA World Rally Championship (after round 9 of 14)
1. O Tänak 180pts
2. S Ogier 158pts
3. T Neuville 155pts
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