Finland WRC: Latvala retakes lead from Lappi

Jari-Matti Latvala reclaimed the Rally Finland after winning every stage of Saturday morning’s loop, as Toyota lock out the top three spots on the event with Finnish drivers.

Finland WRC: Latvala retakes lead from Lappi
Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota Racing
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Juho Hänninen, Kaj Lindström, Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Racing
Jari Huttunen, Antti Linnaketo, Skoda Fabia R5

Latvala went ahead of countryman Lappi on the second stage of the morning, and went on to beat his teammate by 2.5s on the infamous Ouninpohja.

"I don't care if he's [Latvala] won three times, I want to be fastest,” said Lappi at the end of the stage. “I don't know where he is making the time, if I push harder I'll go off the road."

Lappi – in his fourth event with a WRC 2017 car – trails by 7.8s after the final stage of the loop, Saahlati.

He added: “The fight is not over!”

Juho Hanninen took third for Toyota when Teemu Suninen, in his second event in a 2017 WRC car with M-Sport, missed a chicane in Ouninpohja and had to reverse. He lost over 20s and his place in the top three.

Suninen clawed back time on the final stage of the loop, and the gap between himself and Hanninen is now 1.4s.

Now in fifth, but in the battle for the podium, is Elfyn Evans in his DMACK-shod Fiesta WRC. The Welshman trails Suninen by just five seconds.

Craig Breen isn’t out of that podium fight either, as the highest placed Citroen in the order is sixth and 15s off Hanninen.

Thierry Neuville is in a solid seventh, with 20s in hand and 20s in debt to the driver behind and ahead. The Hyundai drivers have struggled to unlock the i20 Coupe’s pace this weekend

Kris Meeke struggled on with damaged steering, and described his Citroen as feeling like it was “in rear-wheel-drive” as he haemorrhaged time to M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Ott Tanak.

Despite some minor wiper issues, Tanak has flown on the morning loop after crashing on Friday. He has reduced his deficit to Meeke in huge chunks, now trailing by 12.4s.

Jari Huttunen continues to lead WRC2 on his championship debut. Ole Christian Veiby had been the highest placed R5 car – not registered for WRC2 points this weekend – but he crashed out on SS15 Paijala.

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Finland WRC: Lappi leads all-Finnish top 3 after Friday

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