Finland Debrief: Part One
In the first part of our Neste Rally Finland review, we highlight who had a lucky high-speed escape and pick out a roadside repair that needed to be seen to be believed.
Quote of the rally
Finland’s jumps are the stuff of legend, with drivers aiming to carry as much speed as possible through the rollercoaster-like stages.
Craig Breen pushed his Citroën C3 as hard as he dared during his second run through the Tuohikotanen test. It was an approach that definitely focused his attention.
He said: “The first time I went through I was too hesitant, I didn’t even leave the ground. But holy mother of God, we went flying that time! I got a crack on the skull when we came down!”
Driver of the rally
It’s tough to pick just one driver, so this accolade must be shared between Ott Tänak and Mads Østberg.
Tänak is an obvious choice. His pace as he started third on the road on Friday was remarkable and the way he expertly managed his lead on Saturday and Sunday left rivals trailing in his dust.
Winning Thursday’s shakedown proved to be a sign of things to come from the experienced Østberg. The Norwegian looked supremely comfortable on the Finland stages and his battle for the lead with Tänak on Friday was spectacular.
Save of the rally
We’ve watched the replay dozens of times, and we still can’t work out how Teemu Suninen managed to recover from running into a ditch on a fast left-hand bend in his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta.
The Finn was too fast into the corner on Friday, lost the rear of the car and slid into the ditch. It looked like his home event would be over but he planted the throttle and just about managed to find enough traction to scrabble his way back on to the road. Relive the incident by clicking below.
You’ll never believe it
WRC 2 sensation Kalle Rovanperä’s Skoda Fabia R5 picked up some hefty suspension damage on Saturday’s penultimate stage when he ran through some deep ruts too quickly. With the spring and suspension strut going through the bonnet vent, it seemed unlikely the young Finn would be able to drive back to the service park in Jyväskylä.
However, the 17-year-old used the road section before the last test to whip up a rudimentary repair. Using a ratchet strap, cable ties and a spare steering arm, he lashed up a make-shift front-left suspension repair which somehow survived through the stage and his reward was fourth place. Watch it below.
Neuville relieved by minimal points loss
Belgian’s championship lead reduced after Finland struggle
Østberg podium crucial to career
Citroën driver exceeds expectations in Finland
Event Highlights Neste Rally Finland 2018
Event Highlights - Neste Rally Finland 2018