Finland WRC: Meeke extends lead as battle for third tightens

Citroen's Kris Meeke doubled his Rally Finland lead following the Saturday morning leg with Jari-Matti Latvala remaining as his sole challenger for the victory.

Finland WRC: Meeke extends lead as battle for third tightens
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
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

Meeke was dominant in the opening 33km Ouninpohja stage, beating the field by 13 seconds - and the Briton continued to be in the top two for the next two runs.

Latvala ended up 36.4s adrift of the Briton with Thierry Neuville holding a close third.

Third and eighth was only separated by half a minute after Friday and the gap got even closer as the Saturday morning loop progressed.

Andreas Mikkelsen took over in third after SS13, only to lose time by going off in the next stage, handing the spot to Hayden Paddon.

Paddon kept third in the next test as well but fell behind Hyundai teammate Neuville in the following, final stage.

The duo is closely followed by Norwegian duo Mads Ostberg and Mikkelsen, with Ott Tanak just 12 seconds behind Neuville in seventh.

Tanak, whose first recovery from yesterday's broken suspension was halted due to a puncture, was up to fourth after winning SS14, only to lose more time with another tyre failure.

Championship leader Sebastien Ogier's poor run continued as he was handed a 2m10s penalty for arriving to a stage 13 minutes late due to a brake problem.

M-Sport's Eric Camilli was another victim of the leg as he was forced to retire following a crash.

Craig Breen lost over two minutes as he had to stop behind the stationary car of the Frenchman but the Citroen driver is set to have his time amended later on.

UPDATE: Breen's time has been corrected and now sits third overall.

Standings after SS16

Pos.DriverTeamGap
 1

 Kris Meeke

 Paul Nagle

Citroen 1h47.56.3s
2

 Jari-Matti Latvala

 Miikka Anttila

Volkswagen +36.4s
 3

 Craig Breen

 Martin Scott

Citroen 

+1m22.7s
4

 Thierry Neuville

 Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai 

+1m35.4s
5

 Hayden Paddon

 John Kennard

Hyundai  +1m36.3s
6

 Mads Ostberg

 Ola Floene

Ford  +1m43.2s
7

 Andreas Mikkelsen

 Anders Jaeger

Volkswagen  +1m46.0s
8

 Ott Tanak

 Raigo Molder

Ford  +1m47.9s
 
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Solid start for Hyundai Motorsport as Neuville holds third in Finland

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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Finland
Drivers Kris Meeke
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Author David Gruz
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