Friday | 01 Aug 2014

Finland WRC 2 lead stays in Ketomaa's grip

Pre-event favourite Jari Ketomaa retained the lead of WRC 2 at Neste Oil Rally Finland after a tough second leg on Friday in which few drivers escaped unscathed.

The Finn began with a 35.0sec advantage over Karl Kruuda and measured his pace over the nine predominantly gravel special stages south-west of Jyväskylä to extend the gap to 42.0sec in his Ford Fiesta R5.

But even Ketomaa didn’t have things all his own way. He suffered a broken rear anti-roll bar on SS10 and had to live with it for the remaining three tests.

“I was in a position where I could control my pace and respond to Karl’s times, and in the bad places I took away the speed to avoid the risk of problems. The broken anti-roll bar was a small distraction rather than a problem, so I’m delighted with the day,” he said.

Sébastien Chardonnet - holding onto third

Kruuda suffered an oil leak in his Ford Fiesta S2000 after going off the road in SS10. But the Estonian is more than a minute clear of Sébastien Chardonnet, who broke the front right suspension on his Citroen DS3 R5 in the same test.

Yazeed Al Rajhi is fourth despite going off the road in his Fiesta RRC with Ott Tänak fifth. The Estonian climbed to fourth after yesterday’s problems before a puncture cost almost two minutes, leaving him with plenty of work to do again. He is 11.1sec behind the Saudi Arabian.

Eyvind Brynildsen started in third, but a puncture and a broken propshaft relegated his Fiesta RRC to sixth.

Juan Carlos Alonso limped to the end with a damaged oil pump on his Mitsubishi Lancer while the similar car of Mario Pizzuti, with Max Rendina doing all the driving, broke a rear differential. Olek Kikireshko crashed his Fiesta R5 into retirement this morning.

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