WRC Finland: Tanak closes in on victory, Hyundai boosts Neuville

Ott Tanak is one stage away from securing his second consecutive Rally Finland victory, while his World Rally Championship rival Thierry Neuville moved up a place following Hyundai team orders

WRC Finland: Tanak closes in on victory, Hyundai boosts Neuville

Toyota driver Tanak topped the first stage of the morning on Laukaa before taking it easy on the remaining passes of Ruuhimaki and Laukaa 2 to maintain his 21.1 second advantage over Citroen's Esapekka Lappi.

Lappi came into the final day with a 10.9s margin over Tanak's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala but lost ground on Laukaa, with the gap reduced to just 7.3s.

But the 2017 event winner responded in the final two stages and opened up a gap of 8.6s to take into the Ruuhimaki Power Stage.

There was more disappointment for the third Toyota of Kris Meeke on Sunday morning.

After breaking the suspension on his Yaris WRC yesterday, Meeke clipped a rock on the inside of a left-hander on Ruuhimaki, which curtailed his running once more.

Behind Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen got the better of Sebastien Ogier in their battle for fourth.

The Hyundai driver had his 2.6s overnight advantage trimmed to just one second on SS20, but Mikkelsen fought back on SS21 and won SS22 to open the margin out again to 2.2s over the reigning world champion.

Neuville is next up in the other Hyundai i20 after his team-mate Craig Breen checked in two minutes late for the start of SS22.

The resulting penalty for Breen hands Neuville another place in what has been a difficult rally so far for the Belgian driver.

M-Sport's Gus Greensmith was another to fall foul of the fast roads on Sunday morning, as the WRC2 Pro regular crashed into a tree early on SS21.

He and co-driver Elliot Edmondson were unhurt but will not take part in the Power Stage.

Kalle Rovanpera remains unstoppable in WRC2 Pro and leads Eric Camilli's Ford Fiesta R5 by nearly five minutes.

Nikolay Gryazin moved to the top of the WRC2 privateer category after Pierre-Louis Loubet crashed at the end of Saturday's final stage.

Gryazin now holds a 15.2s lead over the Hyundai i20 R5 of Jari Huttunen heading into the final stage.

Standings after stage 22

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 2h25m16.0s
2 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Citroen Total WRT Citroen 21.1s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 29.7s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 51.0s
5 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Citroen Total WRT Citroen 53.2s
6 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m31.7s
7 Craig Breen, P.Nagle Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m34.0s
8 Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 2m27.0s
9 Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Skoda Motorsport Skoda 7m29.4s
10 Nikolay Gryazin, Y.Fedorov Nikolay Gryazin Skoda 10m01.4s


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WRC Finland: Tanak extends lead over Lappi, Ogier currently fifth
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WRC Finland: Tanak increases championship lead with victory

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