Lappi explains Finland emergency lake visit to secure strangest WRC podium

Esapekka Lappi described his WRC Rally Finland podium as one of the strangest ever after a roll required an emergency trip to a lake to repair his damaged Toyota.

Lappi explains Finland emergency lake visit to secure strangest WRC podium

Lappi was seemingly on his way to a comfortable third place finish on home soil when drama struck in Sunday’s penultimate stage.

The Finn got caught in a rut at a left hander which pitched his GR Yaris into a roll, with the car rotating three times before landing on its wheels.

The crash ripped the rear wing from the car, smashed the windscreen and damaged the radiator. It was the second time that Lappi had to contend with a broken windscreen during the event.

However, Lappi managed to re-fire the car and reached the stage end, losing only 18s in the process.

With power steering oil and fluid escaping from the car, a quick-thinking Lappi picked up some water bottles at stage end, before driving to a nearby lake to gather more water to re-fill the radiator.

While stopped at the lake, Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm worked to fix the leaks and removed the broken windscreen, before heading to the final stage with the pair forced to wear goggles for protection.

The duo then completed the stage despite shedding part of the car's roof that required Ferm to shout the pace notes to his driver in order to navigate through the test, to secure third in the strangest of circumstances.

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“I was lucky we managed to survive and fix everything,” said Lappi. “For sure this one of the strangest podiums ever.

“First of all the roll was a big surprise for me as the corner where it happened I know it very well.

“I checked on the first pass that there is space on the outside to go a bit wide and now there was a huge rut which stopped the car and starting rolling immediately.

“I was ready to stop but then Janne told me to start the engine. I thought maybe I will try but the windscreen was fully f*****, so I thought I would have no chance.

“Then we went to the finish and there was power steering oil on the windscreen and a lot of smoke, so I knew for sure something is wrong. We managed to fix every problem after the stage.

"We got some bottles from stage end for drinking but for sure we didn’t drink them. But that is the benefit of this rally being known previously as the 1000 Lakes - you can stop [at a lake] for water. I filled all the bottles and my camel bag as well to make sure we had enough water.

"Then we started the last stage and we lost the roof completely on the first acceleration and then there was some air inside of the car.

“Janne needed to shout the pace notes because there was so much sound from the airflow. It was quite a story.

“It was pretty much okay [with the goggles on], there wasn’t too many flies luckily. When I saw there were ruts I backed off to make sure no rocks bounced into my face.”

To mark the bizarre events that led to his podium Lappi donned the goggles again to receive his trophy on the podium, where he joined rally winner Ott Tanak and Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Tanak hails Finland win as his most satisfying in WRC
Previous article

Tanak hails Finland win as his most satisfying in WRC

Next article

Rovanpera expected stronger Hyundai WRC showing in Finland

Rovanpera expected stronger Hyundai WRC showing in Finland
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Prime

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Prime

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Motorsport.com was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success.

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Prime

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again.

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming Prime

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Prime

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Motorsport.com for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit.

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Prime

How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple.

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Prime

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Motorsport.com went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022