OTT TANÄK’S HYUNDAI WINS THE FINLAND CHAMPIONSHIP AHEAD OF TOYOTA 3

OTT TANÄK’S HYUNDAI WINS THE FINLAND CHAMPIONSHIP AHEAD OF TOYOTA 3


The leader from the second special meeting of the rally, Ott Tänak at the wheel of his Hyundai i20 N Rally1, finally won and 6”8 ahead of his rival Kalle Rovanperä in his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 car, signing his third success in Finland and his second win of the season.

If at first he had struggled to feel comfortable in his car, the Estonian still managed to keep his pace thanks to his courage and determination. First to make a special start on Friday from his position as the Championship leader, Kalle Rovanperä sacrificed five scratches on Saturday to climb from fourth to second. So Finn approached the decisive point only 8”4 of Ott Tänak, after reducing his deficit in the change of situation on Saturday afternoon.

This Sunday, the dry weather meant an increase in speed, but Ott Tänak was in no mood to compromise. Estonians just gave 1”8 for his successor in four timed trials to climb to the top step of the podium for the first time since Rally Italia in Sardinia last June.

Ott Tänak revealed a secret before talking to his partner in front of the camera: “The Toyotas helped me on Friday morning and then we saw we had a chance, like a light at the end of the tunnel, so we took it.”

And he said: “What I want to say in these difficult times is that it is all about my wife. She has been very supportive and I am very proud. I love you very much. »

Kalle Rovenperä had given up on his first home win after the first round through Ruuhimäki on Sunday morning, where he and Ott Tänak set identical times. The twenty-one-year-old driver then preferred to play it safe and score big points in the championship.

This strategy allows him to extend his lead in the Championship to 94 points after the first eight meetings of the season which has thirteen. His Toyota Gazoo Racing team also has 88 units ahead of the manufacturers by placing three Yaris in the leading quartet at the end

Esapekka Lappi, another Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 driver, completed the podium, 1’13”9 behind his colleague and partner Kalle Rovanperä. The Finn, however, could consider himself lucky to reach the final after his performance in SS21.

After using epoxy resin to repair a crack in his car’s radiator, he even tackled the Power Stage without a windshield. Elfin Evans Welsh Toyota GR Yaris finished the clock 16”9 of the platform, after allowing time on Saturday afternoon. Like his team-mate, the Welshman had to bend his arms to repair a damaged back using straps and cables.

Meanwhile, Thierry Neuville and his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 had a tough weekend. The Hyundai Motorsport driver was initially frustrated by his set-up and never looked capable of battling with the leading quartet. The Belgian counted 40’4 behind Elfin Evans in the finish and dropped to third place in the championship behind teammate Ott Tänak.

Japanese Takamoto Katsuta with his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 finished 51”0 more than beating Gus Greensmith’s first M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 drivers, the best driver of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in finishing with his seventh place.

Gus Greensmith had battled with his M-Sport Ford Puma teammate, the young Frenchman from Porto Vecchio, Pierre-Louis Loubet, for most of the event, but the Frenchman had to retire due to technical problems before the final stage!

WRC2 leaders Teemu Suninen in his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 and Emil Lindholm in his Skoda Fabia Rally2 finished eighth and ninth while M-Sport Ford Puma Rally Team’s Jari Huttunen overcame operational issues to complete the top ten.

The WRC World Rally Championship returns to the tarmac in less than two weeks with Belgium making its second appearance on the calendar at the Ypres Rally Belgium. (August 18-21).

Claude JULIAN

Photo: WRC-TEAM

Classification of 2022 RALLY FINLAND

1- Tanak-Jarveoja (Hyundai i20N Rally1) inside 2h24’04″6

2 – Rovanpera-Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 6″ 8

3 – Lappi-Ferm (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 1’20″7

4 – Evans-Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) in 1’37″ 6

5 – Neuville-Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20N Rally1) at 2’18″0

6 – Katsuta-Johnston (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 3’09″0

7 – Greensmith-Andersson (Ford Puma Rally1) in 3’57″0

8 – Suninen-Markkula (Hyundai i20N WRC2) at 9’31″3

9 – Lindolm-Hamalainen (Skoda Fabia WRC2) at 9’39″0

10 – Huttunen-Lukka (Ford Puma Rally1) in 10’31″ 6

11 – Kaur-Simm (Volkswagen Polo WRC2) at 11’32″1

12 – Paddon-Kennard (Hyundai i20N WRC2) at 11’42″7

13 – Asunmaa-Mannisenmaki (Skoda Fabia WRC2) in 14’07″2

14 – Pietarinen-Linnaketo (Volkswagen Polo WRC2) at 14’35″0

15 – Marczyk-Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia WRC2) at 15’16″9

PRINCIPAL SPECIFICATION OF DRIVERS TIME

1. Rovanpera: 198 points 2. Tanak: 104 – 3. Neuville: 103 – 4. Evans: 94 – 5. Katsuta: 81 – 6. Breen: 64 – 7. Lappi: 42 – 8. Loeb: 35 – 9. Ogier: 34 – 10. Goiter: 34.

CLASSIFICATION TOTAL TEMPORARY MANUFACTURER

1.Toyota Gazoo: 339 points – 2.Hyundai: 251 – 3. M-Sport Ford: 174.