FIA

Kruuda secures WRC 2
success in Finland

Estonia’s Karl Kruuda claimed his second WRC 2 victory of the season at Neste Oil Rally Finland on Sunday to thrust himself into title contention.

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After driving a Peugeot 208 T16 in the last two rallies, Kruuda reverted to the Ford Fiesta S2000 in which he won in Sweden. The move paid off as the 21-year-old finished 2min 08.7sec clear of long-time leader Jari Ketomaa.

Kruuda climbed to third in the standings, seven points behind leader Lorenzo Bertelli. He survived a nervous Saturday afternoon in which he drove several stages with the oil pressure warning flashing on his car’s dashboard after hitting a hole in the road. It was later traced to a faulty sensor.

“Even though we had a big lead after Jari’s problem, it was a hard rally because every corner seemed tighter and every rock seemed bigger. Lots of thoughts kept going through my head that there might be a problem with the car or something could go wrong. We kept relaxed and the final day was more like a Sunday afternoon drive than a big fight,” he added.

Ott Tanak - finished third after puncture and power steering issues

Ketomaa’s lead was eroded when he stopped to change a puncture on his Fiesta R5 yesterday. The car fell off the jack and more than 3min 30sec passed before he could restart.

Third was Ketomaa’s Drive DMACK team-mate Ott Tänak. He led until a puncture and power steering problems dropped the Estonian down the order but he recovered well to claim a podium.

Yazeed Al Rajhi was fourth in a Fiesta RRC with Eyvind Brynildsen and Juan Carlos Alonso completing the top six. Alonso also topped the Production Cup standings within WRC 2.

Retirements included Sébastien Chardonnet, who crashed his Citroen DS3 out of third on Saturday, and Oleksii Kikireshko who hit a tree.

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