Latvala holds lead after Finland drama
Volkswagen duo duel during dramatic third leg in Finland
The organisers seemed to have saved the best for last as Ruuhimäki was followed by another classic at Myhinpää. Fast flowing corners, crests and dips provided one of the toughest challenges of the weekend.
The fight for victory at Neste Oil Rally Finland will go down to the final stage after Sébastien Ogier clawed back time on leader Jari-Matti Latvala through the penultimate Myhinpää test.
The Frenchman was fastest in his Volkswagen Polo R by 1.3sec, at an amazing average speed of 134.64kph, to reduce the margin to Latvala to 3.7sec with just the final 6.79km live TV Power stage remaining in Ruuhimäki.
Latvala was unable to hear co-driver Miikka Anttila’s pace notes properly due to a problem with his crash helmet.
“I could only hear on the left side because the speaker was broken on the right which was a bit distracting. We still have some seconds,” a relaxed Latvala told WRC Live radio.
Ogier seemed resigned to his fate at the finish. “Such a nice stage. I knew we would need a mistake in this one from Jari-Matti because we could never close on him otherwise,” he said.
Hyundai’s Juho Hänninen and Elfyn Evans climbed to sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Hayden Paddon, who dropped 90sec with continued power steering problems on his i20.
“I can feel it in my arms, that’s for sure,” said Paddon. “We were always going to drop back so I didn’t take any risks. It’s been a good weekend up to now,” said Paddon.
Robert Kubica was another to report intercom problems in his Ford Fiesta RS.