Thursday | 04 Aug 2022

Rovanperä edges Lappi in Finland shakedown

Kalle Rovanperä was the fastest out of the blocks to head a Toyota Gazoo Racing 1-2 in Thursday morning’s shakedown at Secto Rally Finland.

Championship leader Rovanperä put on a show in front of an army of flag-waving fans and posted the benchmark time on his fourth and final run of the 4.48km Rannankylä speed test.

He ended five-tenths clear of GR Yaris team-mate and fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi, with Hyundai i20 N star Ott Tänak completing the leading trio just four-tenths further back. 

Soft compound Pirelli Scorpion tyres were the choice of all the leading drivers as light rain showers caused damp conditions early in the morning. 

Lappi was fastest on the first run but relinquished the top spot to Rovanperä on the next pass. He moved back ahead after the third pass before Rovanperä bettered his time late in the session.

Solberg had a high-speed spin on his first run

"Of course it's nice to be here at my home rally,” grinned Rovanperä. “Finally, we can have a normal Rally Finland with a lot of fans here. 

"The feeling is good in the car and I am not feeling any pressure. It's more like excitement to see all the people cheering for us, so hopefully it's going to be a good weekend."

There were no dramas for Takamoto Katsuta, who finished 1.3sec down on the leaders to make it three Yaris cars in the top four. Hyundai youngster Oliver Solberg rounded off the top five despite an early spin and set identical pace with Toyota driver Elfyn Evans, who ended sixth.

Breen was the best of M-Sport Ford's Puma runners

Craig Breen led M-Sport Ford’s charge. He could only manage the seventh-fastest time and headed Puma colleague Pierre-Louis Loubet, while Thierry Neuville and Adrien Fourmaux completed the leaderboard.

The leading times were:

Pos Driver Car Time
1. Kalle ROVANPERÄ Toyota GR Yaris 1min 56.1sec
2. Esapekka LAPPI Toyota GR Yaris +0.5sec
3. Ott TÄNAK Hyundai i20 N +0.9sec
4. Takamoto KATSUTA Toyota GR Yaris +1.3sec

5.

Oliver SOLBERG Hyundai i20 N +1.7sec
6. Elfyn EVANS Toyota GR Yaris +1.7sec
7. Craig BREEN Ford Puma +2.0sec
8. Pierre-Louis LOUBET Ford Puma +2.4sec
9. Thierry NEUVILLE Hyundai i20 N +2.4sec
10. Jari HUTTUNEN Ford Puma +3.1sec

• Full coverage from Secto Rally Finland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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