Ott Tanak scored his maiden victory in the Production Car World Rally Championship with an error-free performance in Finland today.
The Estonian, 22, headed fellow Mitsubishi Lancer driver Jukka Ketomaki who recovered from a double puncture to land second.
Tanak, starting his third rally as part of the Pirelli Star Driver scheme, controlled a large lead throughout Saturday’s eight stages. “I am very pleased with this result,” said Tanak, who is the protégé of five-time WRC event winner Markko Martin. “It was hard against the Finnish drivers yesterday but today it was a clear route to victory.”
Ketomaki added: “It’s a great result for me, but yesterday morning I lost a lot of time due to many problems and that was not good.”
Hayden Paddon completed the podium in another Lancer to round out a strong showing for the Pirelli Star Drivers. The New Zealander’s only cause for concern was a puncture four kilometres from the end of the final stage.
Anders Grondal finished fourth in his Subaru Impreza with Alex Raschi fifth and Martin Semerad sixth.
Patrik Flodin’s hopes were shattered when his Impreza’s engine died on stage 14. The Swede had been delayed by a broken driveshaft but his failure to score means he failed to overhaul Armindo Araujo at the top of the standings.
Araujo, from Portugal, was not competing in Finland and remains eight points clear of Flodin heading into the asphalt-based ADAC Rallye Deutschland from August 18-22.
Follow this link links to see the FIA P-WRC championship standings after Neste Oil Rally Finland.