The Toyota Yaris WRC continues to lead on its home roads on Finland with just four stages remaining. After moving up into first place during this morning, FIA World Rally Championship leader Ott Tänak takes an advantage of 16.4 seconds into the final day, while Jari-Matti Latvala also occupies a podium position in third overall.
Latvala had begun the day in the rally lead, 1.2 seconds ahead of team-mate Kris Meeke with Tänak just a further 1.4s back in fourth place. Tänak, now benefitting from a better road position than he had on Friday, took the lead by winning the morning’s first stage, only for Latvala to claim it back on the following test. At that point, the Toyota trio were separated by just 0.6s.
A large rock on the outside of a fast right-hand bend in SS14 caused problems for two of the drivers. Meeke hit it and broke his car’s left-rear suspension, forcing him to retire for the day, although he will restart tomorrow. Latvala also made contact with the rock, damaging a wheel and losing around 13.9 seconds to Tänak.
Tänak was able to manage his newly-found advantage during the afternoon, while Latvala adopted a more cautious approach and has a margin of 21.7 seconds over fourth place.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“We had a fantastic morning speed-wise, fighting for the lead with our team-mates, and I had a really good feeling with the car. But in Kakaristo I was too fast in a right-hander, ran wide into a ditch and hit a big rock. In the afternoon, I knew that I couldn’t afford to make any more mistakes so I tried to find a comfortable speed where I would be avoiding risks. At the same time Esapekka was able to raise his pace, so I couldn’t match that. I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find the right rhythm, but to get the points is the most important thing: To be on the podium tomorrow would be a really important result for myself, but also for the team.”
Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT
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