Racer Toyota Esapekka Lappi made the leader of the second day of the Rally Finland and is confident steps moving to his first WRC victory in only his fourth overall start.
Perhaps the key moment of the ninth stage of the season-2017 occurred on the 19th special stage, when technical problems came Jari-Matti Latvala. At that time, three-time winner of the “Rally of a thousand lakes” occupied the first position with the advantage of 8.5 seconds ahead of Lappi and have won all five previous stages of the day. On the causes of vehicle breakdowns, nothing is known.
Worst of all for a leader Toyota is losing a great opportunity to close the gap on Sebastien Ogier in the standings, before the start of the rally was 48 points. Given the similarity of the current champion on Friday and questionable chances of performance on the bonus stage, Latvala could well improve their standings in four of the rally until the end of the season, but did not.
“This rally… it is Sometimes very hard, but we get up again and continue to fight,” wrote Jari-Matti in Twiter.
Lappi will start the final day with a lead of 49 seconds over the closest rival, compatriot of M-Sport, Teemu Suninen.
“I am very pleased with myself, commented Acappela. – Of course, it’s a shame for Jari-Matti, but it’s not my fault that his car broke down. So I have to enjoy the moment. It is something amazing. At the same time to relax while early. Behind the wheel of a WRC car you can’t lose concentration even for a second. It is important to maintain a consistently good pace.”
On the third place after leaving Latvala raised up the third Toyota driver Juho Hanninen, which loses only 4.1 seconds Suninen, so the fight for second place promises to be interesting as well, and for the third.
The only one who has a real chance to break the hegemony of the Finns in the “Rally of a Thousand lakes” on Sunday, DMACK is racer Elfyn Evans. The Welshman concedes 1.3 seconds to Hanninen despite the fact that in the beginning of the day was lost to him 9 seconds.
“Yesterday I could not think what to be so high, said Evans. I think the podium is possible. Let’s wait and see”.
In the battle for fifth place, Thierry Neuville continues to close the gap to Craig Breen, which he left 14 seconds. However, as the first day, on Saturday, the Belgian was not much speed, most of the special stages having finished outside the top 5, which, of course, plays into the hands of championship leader Sebastien Ogier.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. The goal is to finish in the top five,” commented the Hyundai driver.
The seventh place went to Ogier partner team M-Sport, Ott Tanak, who lost time due to damage to the wheel during the morning section on Friday. Until the final special stage of the day, the Estonian was behind the Citroen driver Chris Mick, but thanks to a puncture on the car is still acting pobeditelya the Rally Finland came forward.
Completing the top 10 for the second day, Dani Sordo and Mads Ostberg.
On Sunday, participants will get the final four stage with a total length 33,84 km.
|1.||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||2:13.02,7|
|2.||Teemu Suninen||M-Sport World Rally Team||+49,1|
|3.||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+53,4|
|4.||Elfyn Evans||M-Sport World Rally Team||+54,7|
|5.||Craig Breen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+1.16,9|
|6.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai Motorsport||+1.31,6|
|7.||Ott Tanak||M-Sport World Rally Team||+2.07,5|
|8.||Kris Meeke||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+2.59,1|
|9.||Dani Sordo||Hyundai Motorsport||+3.54,0|
|10.||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport World Rally Team||+4.23,6|
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