WRC Rally Finland: Tänak wins Thursday's opening stage

WRC Finland: Tänak wins Thursday’s opening stage

M-Sport WRC driver Ott Tänak is the overnight leader at Rally Finland after winning Thursday evening’s Harju Super Special Stage in rally city Jyväskylä.

Tänak completed the opening stage 0.6s faster than Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and 0.7s faster than championship leader Kalle Rovanperä.

Rovanperä, who is from rally city Jyväskylä, is yet to win his home event. The Finn topped the timesheets in shakedown earlier today.

Esapekka Lappi, who took his only WRC rally win of his career so far at Rally Finland back in 2017, clocked the fourth fastest time, 1.8s shy off Tänak and a tenth of a second ahead of Elfyn Evans.

Pierre-Louis Loubet set the sixth fastest time in the second Ford Puma Rally1, followed by Takamoto Katsuta in P7 and Teemu Suninen in P8.

Jari-Matti Latvala, who swapped his team principal role for rally driver for this weekend, set the ninth fastest time on his first WRC stage with the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1.

Jari Huttunen was the fastest driver with Rally2 machinery in P10 overall, 1.1s ahead of Nikolay Gryazin and 1.7s faster than Andreas Mikkelsen.

Find everything you need to know (Itinerary, Maps, Rally Guides, Entry list) about WRC Rally Finland here.

Friday is the first full day of action at Rally Finland. A total of nine stages are scheduled, totalling 104.76 competitive kilometres. SS2, Friday’s opener, starts at 08:05 local time (07:05 CEST, 06:05 BST). The final stage of the day, a re-run of tonight’s Harju SSS, starts at 20:05 local time.

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WRC Rally Finland 2023 – O/A standings after Thursday (SS1)

#DriversCarTime / Diff. to 1st
1.Tänak / JärveojaFord Puma Rally12:39.0
2.Neuville / WydaegheHyundai i20 N Rally1+0.6
3.Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally1+0.7
4.Lappi / FermHyundai i20 N Rally1+1.8
5.Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally1+1.9
6.Loubet / GilsoulFord Puma Rally1+2.2
7.Katsuta / JohnstonToyota GR Yaris Rally1+3.1
8.Suninen / MarkkulaHyundai i20 N Rally1+4.6
9.Latvala / HänninenToyota GR Yaris Rally1+8.1
10.Huttunen / HaapalaSkoda Fabia RS Rally2+8.3

Photo: M-Sport