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WRC Finland: Latvala extends lead, Ogier reclaims second

Jari-Matti Latvala took complete control of Rally Finland on Saturday's opening loop, extending his lead to nearly half a minute.

While Latvala's Volkswagen team-mate and World Rally Championship title rival Sebastien Ogier was swiftly able to retake second from Kris Meeke's Citroen, the champion still had no answer to the home favourite.

Kubica and Ogier quiz each other

Latvala won three of Saturday morning's five stages and led Ogier by 29.9 seconds before heading for service.

Meeke stayed in touch with Ogier for second until a small mistake on the Himos stage cost him several seconds. He is now 13.5s behind Ogier and focusing on ensuring a podium finish.

There is still a 36s gap from Meeke back to fourth-placed Andreas Mikkelsen, who stretched away from Mads Ostberg and Mikko Hirvonen through the morning.

Further back, the recovering Juho Hanninen has now taken eighth from Elfyn Evans and setting his sights on the half-minute gap to Hyundai team-mate Hayden Paddon in seventh.

Robert Kubica rejoined for leg two in his repaired M-Sport Ford following Friday morning's crash, but his Rally2 penalties mean he is only just in the top 50 overall.

Follow Rally Finland as it happens on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live

Leading positions after SS18:                 
Pos  Driver              Team/Car          Time/Gap
 1.  Jari-Matti Latvala  VW              2h07m35.7s
 2.  Sebastien Ogier     VW                  +29.9s
 3.  Kris Meeke          Citroen             +43.4s
 4.  Andreas Mikkelsen   VW                +1m19.9s
 5.  Mads Ostberg        Citroen           +1m28.3s
 6.  Mikko Hirvonen      M-Sport Ford      +1m43.5s
 7.  Hayden Paddon       Hyundai           +3m15.5s
 8.  Juho Hanninen       Hyundai           +3m45.7s
 9.  Elfyn Evans         M-Sport Ford      +3m46.6s
10.  Craig Breen         Kel-Tech Ford     +7m26.9s
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