Tänak leads Arctic Rally after Saturday

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Ott Tänak - Martin Järveoja. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

The FIA World Rally Championship continues this weekend with the WRC Arctic Rally Finland. Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) are after their first points of the season following an unsuccessful showing in Monte Carlo.

Tänak continued in the lead on Saturday after dominating the first two stages of the rally on Friday.

Tänak was fastest through the test stage on Friday morning and proceeded to win the rally's longest 31-kilometer Sarriojärvi special stage twice, closing the day 20.4 percent ahead of Finn Kalle Rovanperä in third place. Craig Breen was second by Friday evening, 4.2 seconds ahead of Rovanperä.

The Estonian duo won two of three stages on Saturday morning. The only hair-raising moment of the day happened during the second special stage when Tänak's Hyundai plowed into a wall of snow but luckily did not get stuck. Tänak/Järveoja won one of three stages in the afternoon and closed the day still in the lead. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) was very fast during stage three closing Saturday just 1.8 seconds behind Rovanperä.

The standings after SS 8: 1. Tänak 1:43:32.1, 2. Rovanperä +24.1, 3. Neuville +25:9.4, Breen +53:4, 5. Evans +1:03:5, 6. Solberg +1:26:8, 7. Katsuta +1:34:4, 8. Suninen +1:49:3, 9. Greensmith +3:01:8, ..., Ogier +20:52.6.

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The Arctic rally is a replacement for Rally Sweden, which was cancelled at the end of 2020 due to increased restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The replacement rally near Rovaniemi, Finland, however, is quite a substitute when it comes to snowy conditions. Rally car pilots must handle the slippery and snowy roads, which adds another factor to the manufacturers' tire choices.

Full schedule for WRC Arctic Rally Finland:

Friday, February 26:

SS1 Sarriojärvi 1 (31.05 km) 3.08 p.m.
SS2 Sarriojärvi 2 (31.05 km) 6.38 p.m.

Saturday, February 27:

SS3 Mustalampi 1 (24.43 km) 9.08 a.m.
SS4 Kaihuavaara 1 (19.91 km) 10.38 a.m.
SS5 Siikakäma 1 (27.68 km) 12.08 p.m.
SS6 Mustalampi 2 (24.43 km) 3.38 p.m.
SS7 Kaihuavaara 2 (19.91 km) 5.08 p.m.
SS8 Siikakäma 2 (27.68 km) 6.38 p.m.

Sunday, February 28:

SS9 Aittajärvi 1 (22.47 km) 10.08 a.m.
SS10 Aittajärvi 2 (22.47 km) 1.18 p.m.

Drivers rankings for the season:

1. Sebastien Ogier 30
2. Elfyn Evans 21
3. Thierry Neuville 17
4. Kalle Rovanperä 16
5. Dani Sordo 11
6. Takamoto Katsuta 8
7. Andreas Mikkelsen 6
8. Gus Greensmith 4
9. Adrien Fourmaux 2
10. Eric Camilli 1

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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