Debutant WRC Esapekka Lappi, who plays for the factory Toyota team, made up of the leader of the dramatic and unpredictable first day of the Rally Finland.
26-year-old Finn, carrying only the fourth stage in the main class of the world championship, ahead of in the course of the day section of experienced teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, followed closely throughout the morning.
Showed the best time on the tenth special stage, Lappi led the General classification by the end of the day increased the gap from 0.3 to 4.4 seconds.
“It’s difficult to describe how I feel. Since my childhood I dreamed about performing on the WRC car on the Rally Finland, – shared his impressions of Esapekka. – Now my dream has come true, and I have no words!
Will I be able to win? I need to maintain concentration. I don’t want to rush in the fight with Jari-Matti. My goal was and still finish on the podium.”
Lappi won eight of the 12 special stages of the day, while Latvala, who were taking priority three times in the “Rally of a Thousand lakes”, and marked the best time only once – at the third stage.
“I must admit, I did everything I could, but Esapekka was faster. Let’s see what I can do tomorrow,” commented Jari-Matti.
The third day completed another Finn Teemu Suninen, the only representative of the M-Sport, who managed to avoid problems – Sebastien Ogier came down in a crash on the fourth special stage, while Ott Tanak on the same special stage hit a stone and damaged the drive shaft.
Suninen celebrated two victories in the course of the day and lost 19 seconds Lappi, and he is ahead by 14 seconds Citroen best representative Craig Breen.
Another Finn, third driver, Toyota Juho Hanninen ranked fifth, despite the damage to the mount during the morning section.
Mads Ostberg has completed the first half of the day on a high third place, but after dinner complained of problems with the handling and moved into sixth place.
“I don’t know what’s going on with the machine, – said the Norwegian. Sometimes everything is OK, and sometimes to control the rear of the vehicle becomes impossible. I just can’t drive a car”.
Seventh line is Elfyn Evans which is followed by the Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville, who was forced to open the track after leaving Ogier.
“The car is not enough speed, – said the Belgian. – Except for a few special stages, I had a fine day. But to do more was impossible. The clearing of the route has complicated our task, but no speed in any case.”
Rounded out the top 10 at the end of the day, Kris Meeke and Tanak, conceding to the leader 1 minute 7 seconds 1 minute and 50 seconds, respectively.
|1.||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||1:11.36,4|
|2.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+4,4|
|3.||Teemu Suninen||M-Sport World Rally Team||+19,0|
|4.||Craig Breen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+33,0|
|5.||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+39,1|
|6.||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport World Rally Team||+45,0|
|7.||Elfyn Evans||M-Sport World Rally Team||+45,1|
|8.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai Motorsport||+58,0|
|9.||Kris Meeke||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+1.07,6|
|10.||Ott Tanak||M-Sport World Rally Team||+1.50,2|
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