Ott Tänak first in Rally Finland stage two
Ott Tänak in the Hyundai i20 won the opening stage of Rally Finland day two, the 11.75-km Laukaa 1. The Estonian had come second in the rally's first stage, on Thursday evening.
The stage started 8.00 a.m. Friday and was the first of nine for the day, while the race continues through Saturday and Sunday, as standard. Tänak was first in stage one, ahead of local driver Esapekka Lappi (Toyota), followed by Craig Breen (Ireland, M-Sport Ford). Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä finished down in sixth place.
The second stage of the day and third overall, the 21.69-km Lankamaa 1, is already underway at the time of writing.
Thursday, August 4
The result adds to Hyundai's success in the first stage proper on Thursday evening, where Tänak's teammate, Thierry Neuville, finished in first place, with the Estonian in second.
While Toyota did not put in a particularly strong showing that time either - Takamoto Katsuta was first for Tänak's old team, in third place, the Estonian expressed reservations about Toyota's strong chance of success through the entire race weekend.
Tänak had earlier finished third in the opening test run Thursday morning.
The two Finns took the first and second places for Toyota, before a local crowd; drivers' table leader Kalle Rovanperä was followed by his teammate Esapekka Lappi.
Fast Finnish shakedown action! #ToyotaGAZOORacing #GRYaris #WRC #RallyFinland pic.twitter.com/HsgwtDZAh7— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT (@TGR_WRC) August 4, 2022
The first stage proper starts at 7.08 p.m. in the evening.
Before the race
"Finland is always the highlight of the season in terms of driving," Hyundai driver Tänak said ahead of the rally, round eight of the 2022 WRC Championship, held in the lakelands of central Finland.
"If we could repeat the Rally Estonia result, it would be a strong performance. It will certainly be more difficult than in Estonia," however, Tänak, who made it on to the podium in third place at his home rally last month, continued.
Tänak currently lies in fourth place in the drivers' table on 77 points, behind Rovanperä (175 points), fellow Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville of Belgium (92 points) and Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota, 79 points). Evans won last year's Rally Finland.
Rally Finland 2022 schedule, completed stages in italics with stage winner in brackets, start time in 24 hour clock.
Thursday, August 4
Test test (4.48 km) 9:01 (ROVANPERÄ)
SS1 Practice 1 (3.48 km) 19:08 (NEUVILLE)
Friday, August 5
SS2 Laukaa 1 (11.75 km) 08:00 (TÄNAK)
SS3 Lankamaa 1 (21.69 km) 08:55
SS4 Laukaa 2 (11.75 km) 12:15
SS5 Lankamaa 2 (21.69 km) 13:10
SS6 Harju 2 (2.01 km) 14:30
SS7 Ässämäki 1 (12.31 km) 17:00
SS8 Sahloinen-Moksi 1 (15.7 km) 17:53
SS9 Ässämäki 2 (12.31 km) 19:13
SS10 Sahloinen-Moksi 2 (15.7 km) 20 :06
Saturday, August 6
SS11 Päijälä 1 (20.19 km) 08:08
SS12 Rapsula 1 (20.56 km) 09:08
SS13 Patajoki 1 (13.75 km) 10:08
S14 Vekkula 1 (20.65 km) 11:08
SS15 Päijälä 2 (20.19 km) 15:38
SS16 Rapsula 2 (20.56 km) 16:38
SS17 Patajoki 2 (13.75 km) 17:38
SS18 Vekkula 2 (20.65 km) 18:38
Sunday, August 7
SS19 Oittila 1 (10.84 km) 08:23
SS20 Ruuhimäki 1 (11.12 km) 09:38
SS21 Oittila 2 (18.84 km) 11:01
SS22 Ruuhimäki 2 (11,12) 13:18
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Editor: Andrew Whyte