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WRC NEWS 

Rally Finland: Mads Ostberg moves into the lead ahead of Ogier

Mads Ostberg Mads Ostberg moved into the lead of Rally Finland on Friday morning, less than a second ahead of championship leader Sebastien Ogier.

Ostberg was third after Thursday's running but immediately moved to the head of the leaderboard after finishing second to Mikko Hirvonen on SS7.

That was enough to elevate him above both Ogier and erstwhile leader Thierry Neuville, who endured a tardy run on the first Jukojarvi, and slipped to fourth behind Hirvonen.

Victory for Ogier on SS8 left him just 0.2s adrift of the lead before Ostberg claimed victory on SS9. The Frenchman lost 2.6s to the Norwegian on that stage, but cut the gap back down to 0.8s with the fastest time on SS10.

Hirvonen is 7.5s in arrears in third place with Neuville now 11.4s behind the leader, but there is a substantial gap back to fifth-placed Kris Meeke.

The Briton lost a chunk of time behind Evegeny Novikov on SS8, after the M-Sport Ford ran off the road and rejoined in front of Meeke's Citroen DS3 - and then did not allow him past. He sustained a broken windscreen, and dropped five minutes behind the leaders as a result on the final two stages.

It also led to a frustrated Meeke picking up a puncture and damage to his own windscreen, which briefly dropped him behind Andreas Mikkelsen.

He regained that place on the penultimate stage before the lunch break, and then inherited fifth when Juho Hanninen was forced to retire with damage sustained when he went wide and hit a rock.

In WRC2, Jari Ketomaa's domination continued aboard the R5 Fiesta. He is more than a minute clear of Robert Kubica, who has started to come under pressure from Hayden Paddon. Elfyn Evans' challenge ended when he hit mechanical problems on the eighth stage.

Pos Driver              Car              Time/Gap
 1. Mads Ostberg        M-Sport Ford     1h01m39.8s
 2. Sebastien Ogier     VW               +0.8s
 3. Mikko Hirvonen      Citroen          +7.5s
 4. Thierry Neuville    M-Sport Ford     +11.4s
 5. Kris Meeke          Citroen          +57.1s
 6. Andreas Mikkelsen   VW               +1m03.0s
 7. Jarkko Nikara       Prodrive Mini    +1m27.4s
 8. Dani Sordo          Citroen          +1m45.8s
 9. Martin Prokop       Czech Ford       +2m15.8s
10. Jari Ketomaa        Autotek Ford     +3m23.6s

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