Rally Finland is now underway following the opening stage in the centre of host city Jyvaskyla, which consisted of both asphalt and gravel. Watched on by enthusiastic crowds ? with strong support for the locally-based TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team ? Ott Tanak posted the fastest time to claim an early rally lead.
The day began with a 4.26-kilometre shakedown at Vesala, which was far more representative of the high-speed gravel stages that make up the rest of the event. Here, Jari-Matti Latvala was the fastest of the team’s drivers in third, just ahead of Tanak in fourth, while Esapekka Lappi was 10th, but all three had a good feeling with the Toyota Yaris WRC. Tanak then won the 2.31-kilometre Harju stage, 0.7 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Lappi was fifth and Latvala was eighth, with 2.8 seconds covering the top 11 cars.
Tom Fowler (Chief Engineer)
“Unlike tonight’s first stage, the shakedown was reasonably representative of what is to come during the rally, as a proper gravel stage. The stage conditions deteriorated quite quickly so it is hard to compare the times between the different teams. We didn’t have any technical issues, and the drivers didn’t make any big changes to their setups. In this year’s route there are some more technical and twisty sections, but a huge majority of it is still traditional Rally Finland: wide roads, high speeds and the usual jumps. We are confident in those conditions, but the competition is very strong. Everyone has moved forward from last year and some of our rivals start with a very good road position, so I think it will be a good battle.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“My time on the first stage was OK: There were a couple of mistakes but it was just important to get this stage done and get the rally started. Shakedown went well this morning. We made some small modifications to the car between runs and it gave me a very good feeling. The first target this weekend is to have a clean rally, but if everything goes well, I hope to be on the podium or even fight for the victory.”
End of day one (Thursday):
1 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1m49.2s
2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.7s
3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.8s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.9s
5 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.7s
6 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.8s
7 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.8s
8 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2.3s
9 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2.6s
10 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2.6s
(Results as of 21:30 on Thursday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
Ten stages make up the first full day of Rally Finland. The morning loop of four stages includes the returning Moski and brand-new Assamaki. All four stages are repeated in the afternoon, preceded by a single pass over the Oittila test, while the crews complete the day with another run through Harju.
Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC