Rally Finland: Update #5
Latvala leads in Finland at leg 2 midpoint
Last used in the 1980s, it offered a mix of fast and technical sections. It started on a wide road in a protected historical area and the first 9.6km were typical fast Finnish roller-coaster roads before it became narrower towards the finish.
Thierry Neuville has been sidelined from Neste Oil Rally Finland after his Hyundai i20 suffered damage to the roll cage this morning.
The Belgian swiped the scenery during the opening run through Pihlajakoski after sliding wide at a slippery braking point. The impact ripped the rear wing from the car and Neuville struggled during the rest of the loop with no aero assistance.
FIA technical chiefs examined the car when it returned to the mid-leg service in Jyväskylä and identified the roll cage damage. Neuville did not restart and although Hyundai was hopeful repairs could be made in time to rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2, the damage was too great and he will go no further.
Sébastien Ogier was fastest by just a tenth of a second at an amazing average speed of 130.66kph. Kris Meeke was second with leader Jari-Matti Latvala half a second further back.
Martin Prokop broke a rear wheel and damaged the suspension geometry on his Fiesta RS after swiping the rear against the countryside, while Henning Solberg stalled his engine.
Craig Breen survived a close encounter with what the Irishman described as ‘the world’s biggest moose’. “It was almost on my bonnet!” he said.