Junior WRC in Finland:
Late joy for Torn
Ken Torn capitalised on a late problem for daylong leader Emil Bergkvist to lead the FIA Junior WRC category at Neste Rally Finland on Friday night.
He headed the Swede by 21.7sec after a long day on the super-quick forest roads of central Finland, but Bergkvist will be disappointed not to be topping the standings.
Torn won last night’s prologue speed test in the centre of Jyväskylä but once the action switched to gravel tracks this morning, Bergkvist took control in his Ford Fiesta R2.
He reeled off three consecutive special stage wins to move to the front and extended his advantage to 16.8sec over the Estonian. However, a puncture undid all his hard work and he has it all to do again tomorrow.
“We had a good fight with Emil, but he got a puncture so now we are leading. I want to have a good run tomorrow, but I’m sure Emil will be pushing hard,” said Torn.
Despite the late setback, Bergkvist’s title hopes looked considerably brighter tonight. Fellow countryman Dennis Rådström, who has led the standings all season, had to retire after hitting a tree and damaging his car’s roll cage. He will take no further part in the event.
“It was a driver mistake, too much speed into a corner causing us to lose grip and resulting in us hitting the rear of the car into a tree. With the set up this year of the championship it is never over. We need to cry a little bit now and come back stronger in Turkey,” said Rådström.
Frenchman Terry Fold held third, 20.1sec behind Bergkvist, with Jean-Baptiste Franceschi in fourth and only 4.3sec adrift of his country colleague.
Julius Tannert and Callum Devine completed the top six, Irishman Devine dropping a position after puncturing in the same test as Bergkvist.
Rising Finnish star Henri Hokkala made a sensational Junior WRC debut to lie second before crashing heavily, while Emilio Fernandez was also sidelined after going off the road.
Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Neste Rally Finland, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.
WRC 2 in Finland: Rovanperä powers ahead
Youngster heads Finnish top three after dominant drive
Friday in Finland: Ott edges revitalised Østberg
Daylong struggle for championship leader Neuville
Newsclip Neste Rally Finland 2018
Video Newsclip Neste Rally Finland 2018