Superb Tänak wins Rally Finland
Estonia's Ott Tänak (Hyundai) recorded a superb victory at this weekend's Rally Finland in Jyväskylä. Tänak, who led the way for most of the weekend, finished the job on Sunday, recording his third career win in Finland.
Tänak, alongside co-driver Martin Järveoja, took the lead on Friday morning after the second stage of the rally in Jyväskylä and managed to hold on to first place for the rest of the rally.
The Estonian faced stiff competition in particular from Finnish drivers Kalle Rovanperä and Esapekka Lappi (both Toyota). Rovanperä, who is way ahead of the field on this season's WRC (World Rally Championship), put considerable pressure on Tänak in Sunday morning's opening race, but the Estonian responded expertly to earn victory, 6.8 seconds ahead of the Finn in second place.
Lappi finished in third, 1.20,7 behind Tänak, despite rolling his Toyota three times during stage 21 and forcing his team to make emergency repairs to the vehicle.
Tänak's win this weekend was his third career victory at Rally Finland, adding to earlier successes in 2018 and 2019.
While he still has a long way to go to equal the seven wins recorded by Hannu Mikkola and Marcus Grönhol, the Estonian is now only the second non-Finnish driver to have achieved three victories in Rally Finland, along with Sebastien Loeb of France.
A delighted Tänak told the TV cameras after the race, that his victory was really all down to his wife. "She has been supporting me so much and I am really proud of her. I love you so much," he said.
The next round of this year's World Rally Championship takes place in Ypres, Belgium on August 18-21. Tänak currently sits in fourth place in the leaderboard with 77 points. Kalle Rovanperä currently leads the championship with 175 points ahead of second placed Thierry Neuville (Toyota) of Belgium on 92, while Elfyn Evans of Great Britain is in third with 79.
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Editor: Michael Cole