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Rally Finland:
Update #16

Leg 3: Sunday – SS24 Ruuhimäki (6.79km)

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The final day opened with a Rally Finland classic. Ruuhimäki is famed for a sequence of flat-out jumps near the end. After a long straight and several 90 degree corners, the jumps started at 2.5km, building up to the big ones in the final section.

Fastest time for Jari-Matti Latvala through the opening stage of Sunday’s final leg of Neste Oil Rally Finland stretched his lead to 5.0sec.

After almost losing his lead last night with brake problems, Latvala reasserted his authority to go quickest by 1.6sec over Volkswagen Polo R team-mate and closest rival Sébastien Ogier.

“I didn’t lift over any jump. I was jumping on the wrong line coming to the end but luckily there were no problems. I came here to win this rally. I want to do something for the Finnish rally fans and that’s my motivation,” said a pumped up Latvala.

Craig Breen - sidelined with an injured back

Ogier was less happy with his performance. “Not a good start to the stage. I was better at the end but I wasn’t surprised to be slower at the beginning. This stage is flat out all the way so it’s hard to make a difference,” he said.

Mikko Hirvonen was also unhappy. “I missed all the junctions at the start, my braking was all wrong,” he said.

Craig Breen completed in severe discomfort after hurting his back following a heavy landing over a big jump. The Irishman climbed out of his Fiesta RS just beyond the finish and medical treatment was quickly summoned.

“I tried to go flat over the famous jumps and now I’m flat on my back! I’m disappointed because I wanted to finish and it’s not going to happen,” said Breen.

Hayden Paddon dropped 20sec with a power steering problem in his Hyundai i20 while Robert Kubica reported losing a gear after a heavy landing in his Ford Fiesta RS.

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