Finland WRC: Meeke remains first, Ogier gets stuck

Kris Meeke continued to lead Rally Finland after the five Friday afternoon loop stages, with only Jari-Matti Latvala keeping in touch after Sebastien Ogier fell out of contention.

Finland WRC: Meeke remains first, Ogier gets stuck
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila, Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

After finishing only fifth in the first stage, Meeke was in the top three in the next four, including two stage victories.

He extended his lead by less than a second to 18.1s over Latvala, pace-setter in SS10, the Finn ending up as the only driver to be less than 40 seconds adrift of Meeke.

Latvala's teammate Ogier, meanwhile, got stuck in a ditch and lost over 16 minutes by the time he finished SS10.

"I got stuck in a hairpin - quite a stupid mistake. There were not many spectators - so they didn't manage to get us out. That's why we lost so much time," explained Ogier.

Thierry Neuville ended up in third as a result, the Belgian switching positions with Andreas Mikkelsen on a couple of occasions during the afternoon.

The Norwegian, who went wide and ran in a ditch for around 20 metres before winning the Super Special, is now only 1.1s behind Neuville with Craig Breen also not far off.

Sixth-placed Hayden Paddon was the last driver within a minute of Meeke, the Kiwi followed by the Ford trio of Mads Ostberg, Ott Tanak and Eric Camilli.

Tanak's broken suspension from the morning has been fixed during the mid-day service and the Estonian started his recovery by winning both SS7 and SS9, only to have a puncture later on.

WRC2 leader Esapekka Lappi completed the top 10, the Finn beating Kevin Abbring, who is subbing for Dani Sordo, to the spot.

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