WRC 2 in Finland:
Debut win for Huttunen
Jari Huttunen scored an impressive home victory in his WRC 2 debut at Neste Rally Finland on Sunday afternoon.
Driving a four-wheel drive car for only the second time, Huttunen took the lead of the WRC’s principal support category early on Friday morning and was never headed. He won 15 of the 25 blisteringly fast dirt road stages to win by 2min 17.8sec in a Skoda Fabia R5.
Huttunen, a former winner of the Future Star of Finland accolade, enjoyed a clean run apart from a spin yesterday afternoon. He has set his sights on emulating the meteoric rise up the rankings of fellow countryman and rally winner Esapekka Lappi.
“This is totally amazing. Some day I want to do the same as Esapekka,” he said before mounting the Jyväskylä podium to the cheers of thousands of fellow Finns.
Quentin Gilbert finished second in a similar car, the Frenchman’s best result of the season, to climb into seventh in the points.
Briton Tom Cave was a further 1min 25.2sec back in third in a Hyundai i20 R5. He overcame brake problems to secure his first WRC 2 podium.
Osian Pryce finished fourth in a Ford Fiesta R5, the Welshman bouncing back after a big crash in Poland earlier this month to score his best result in his second prize drive for winning last season’s Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
Simone Tempestini overcame handling problems with his Citroën DS 3 R5 to take fifth, with Estonia’s Raul Jeets completing the top six.
Team-mates Hiroki Arai and Takamoto Katsuta retired today after crashing their Fiesta R5s.
The absent Pontus Tidemand continues to lead the championship by 50 points with four rounds remaining.
Head to WRC+ to see the latest onboard and video reports from Neste Rally Finland.
Sunday in Finland: Ice-cool Lappi nets first win
Evans pips Hänninen for second after thrilling fight
WRC 2 in Finland: Huttunen doubles lead
Finn untroubled in support category
New winner guaranteed in WRC 2
Absent leaders throw the class wide open