Finland WRC: Tanak leads early Toyota 1-2-3

WRC points leader Ott Tanak holds a 5.4-second lead over Toyota teammate Jari-Matti Latvala after the opening loop of Rally Finland as Thierry Neuville struggled with set-up issues.

Finland WRC: Tanak leads early Toyota 1-2-3

Despite running first on the road, Tanak grabbed the lead after the first stage of the day on Oitilla and extended his advantage over the remaining tests before service. 

Toyota dominated the morning running, with Latvala claiming a trio of stage wins to remain Tanak’s closest challenger despite suffering a rear left puncture towards the end of SS5 (Assamaki). 

SS3 winner Kris Meeke also suffered a slow puncture on his Yaris WRC after hitting an errant rock on a fast left-hander but lies just four-tenths of a second behind teammate Latvala. 

But it was a difficult morning for Hyundai’s Neuville, who had entered the morning loop the rally leader after topping Thursday evening’s superspecial. 

The Belgian dropped over 10 seconds to Tanak at the end of SS2, and he shipped a further seven seconds on SS3 (Moksi) before gaining some time back on SS5 and SS6 (Aanekoski). 

2017 Rally Finland winner Esapekka Lappi had an impressive morning in his Citroen C3 WRC and lies fourth, just under seven seconds adrift of Tanak. The Finn was just 0.1s slower than Latvala in SS2 and maintained his best of the rest status behind the dominant Toyotas. 

Neuville’s teammate Craig Breen marked his WRC comeback with a sensational morning loop to lie fifth fastest, just 9.1 seconds off leader Tanak. 

The Irishman was sixth-fastest in the opening stage of the day, but set the second-fastest times in SS4 (Urria), SS5 and SS6 on his first WRC event since Australia last year. 

Reigning champion Sebastien Ogier is a further 3.5s behind Breen in seventh with Andreas Mikkelsen’s Hyundai close behind in eighth. 

Neuville remains inside the top 10, but is a full 10 seconds down on teammate Mikkelsen after a “frustrating” morning where he was unable to find the right set-up to suit the conditions. 

M-Sport endured a difficult morning as well, with Teemu Suninen ninth and over half a minute behind the leading times. 

Gus Greensmith completes the top 10 in his second outing in a WRC car, deputising for the injured Elfyn Evans. The WRC2 Pro regular is over a minute off the pace after suffering significant time loss with a spin on SS5. 

A heavy crash on the opening stage for Eerik Pieterainen means that Kalle Rovanpera holds a healthy 1m21s lead over Eric Camilli’s brand new Ford Fiesta R5 in the WRC2 Pro category. 

Read Also:

shares
comments
Finland WRC: Neuville holds narrow lead after SS1

Previous article

Finland WRC: Neuville holds narrow lead after SS1

Next article

Finland WRC: Latvala leads, top four split by 2.6s

Finland WRC: Latvala leads, top four split by 2.6s
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021