Saturday | 02 Aug 2014

Rally Finland: Update #11

Leg 3: Saturday – SS16 Surkee 1 (14.95km)

Surkee had several rhythm changes which challenged drivers’ abilities to adapt. Wide roads contrasted with narrower sections, with rocks lining the roadside in the latter.

Three out of three for Jari-Matti Latvala (pictured) as the leader completed a hat-trick of stage wins on Saturday morning at Neste Oil Rally Finland.

The Finn was quickest by 4.1sec in his Volkswagen Polo R to widen the gap between himself and team-mate Sébastien Ogier to 29.0sec.

“I like this stage, it’s my favourite of the rally. It’s very technical and the big road is very, very fast,” said Latvala.

Karl Kruuda - new leader in WRC 2

Ogier stretched his advantage over third-placed Kris Meeke to 4.5sec, while in the battle for fourth Andreas Mikkelsen is starting to pull clear. He is 6.7sec ahead of Mads Østberg with Mikko Hirvonen a further 8.9sec behind, the Finn feeling his Ford Fiesta RS was too soft.

Eighth-placed Elfyn Evans gave himself a small scare after a brush with the scenery in his Ford Fiesta RS. “I clipped something early on at a corner and I thought we might have a puncture but it was OK,” said the Welshman.

All the drama in this stage came in WRC 2. Leader Jari Ketomaa dropped almost 3min 30sec after stopping to change a puncture on his Fiesta R5, a task complicated when the car fell off the jack. Third-placed Sébastien Chardonnet crashed his Citroen DS3 after 5km.

Karl Kruuda now leads the category by 2min 37.6sec from Ketomaa, with Ott Tänak 42.8sec behind in third.

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