Ken Torn continued to lead the FIA Junior WRC category at Neste Rally Finland on Saturday night despite a late twist which set up an intriguing finale to this penultimate round.
The Estonian held off a determined recovery from Emil Bergkvist, whose lead was wiped out last night when the Swede suffered a puncture in his Ford Fiesta R2.
Each claimed three special stage victories during the first six stages, and although Torn’s lead dropped to 15sec, he clawed back vital time to rebuild it to 25sec with two speed tests remaining.
However, it was Torn’s turn to suffer a tyre disappointment as a puncture in the penultimate stage allowed Bergkvist to close in. They will head into tomorrow’s final four tests separated by 12.7sec.
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi demoted Terry Folb from third in the opening Päijälä test and remained there throughout the day, ending 1min 36.1sec behind Torn.
Folb’s fortunes were not so bright and the Frenchman retired with a broken crank sensor in the next stage.
His demise allowed Julius Tannert into fourth, almost two minutes behind Franceschi. Ireland’s Callum Devine and Tom Williams completed the top six.
Luca Bottarelli’s hopes of a good finish evaporated when the Italian rolled, while New Zealander Dave Holder stopped when he had more punctures than spare wheels onboard his Fiesta.
Saturday in Finland: Dominant Tänak extends lead
Østberg and Latvala poised for final day battle
SS16/17: Lappi halts Tänak’s run
Estonian’s winning sequence ends
SS14/15: Ott’s clean sweep
Four wins from four for Finland leader