The Toyota Yaris WRC continues to lead Rally Finland after an exceptional performance on Saturday, when it won all eight stages. Ott Tänak increased his leading margin to 39 seconds, Jari-Matti Latvala consolidated his podium position and Esapekka Lappi charged from eighth to fourth. During the afternoon, the three Toyota drivers posted the three fastest times on three consecutive stages, demonstrating the team’s strength on its home roads.
Tänak won all four stages in the morning loop as he opened his rally lead up from 5.8s to 23.7s by mid-day service. Despite then adopting a more cautious approach in the afternoon, he continued to out-pace his nearest rival to sit more than half a minute clear with four stages remaining on Sunday.
Latvala displayed consistent speed throughout the day – sharing a stage win with Tänak at the start of the afternoon – to close on the driver in second place overall, reducing his deficit to 5.4 seconds. Lappi gained two places on the first stage of the day and another two later on as he won each of the last three stages.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Today has been absolutely brilliant. The performance from all three drivers and from our car has been incredible. Ott is making it look very easy, which of course it isn’t! His speed this morning was amazing, and he seems to be in control of everything. Jari-Matti and Esapekka have been getting better and better as well, and they clearly had the confidence to push very hard this afternoon. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day, particularly with such a small gap between Jari-Matti and second place.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“It has been really enjoyable today. There was still a little bit of speed missing during the morning loop but we made some changes to the car in mid-day service and I started to get a better feeling and I could start to push more. This meant that I was wearing my tyres a lot, but it was amazing how fast we were still able to go. Of course, we need to try and attack tomorrow and try to get second place. But of course, if you do risks they need to be controlled risks and that’s important.”
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Overall, it has been another a good day. In the morning we were in a good rhythm and our road position was so much better than yesterday, so we managed to increase the gap even though I was not pushing as hard. This afternoon I was a lot more cautious because the roads were pretty rough and we already had a good gap. It was not so enjoyable to drive like this, but we still managed to increase our lead, so I cannot complain. Tomorrow we have some pretty smooth and fast stages and I’m looking forward to it.”
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“It has been a really strong day, particularly this afternoon. The morning was pretty enjoyable and we managed to gain three places already. Then during the afternoon I pushed really hard, and didn’t save the tyres at all. This was a very risky game because we didn’t have much rubber left for the last stage, and yet we were still fastest! Now the target for tomorrow is to stay ahead of the guys behind us.”
End of day three (Saturday):
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h13m18.2s
2 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +39.0s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +44.4s
4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m20.6s
5 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m29.6s
6 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m45.1s
7 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m07.6s
7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m17.9s
9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2m56.4s
10 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3m34.5s
(Results as of 22:00 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
Sunday consists of four stages located to the east of Jyväskylä, with two runs over the Laukaa and Ruuhimäki tests. The second pass of Ruuhimäki, scheduled for 13:18 local time, will be the rally-ending Power Stage before the finish ceremony in the Jyväskylä service park.
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