Finns top Rally Finland Shakedown with 1-2 result

The current FIA World Rally Championship points leader Kalle Rovanperä edged his fellow countryman and Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate Esapekka Lappi on Thursday morning’s light rainy shakedown at Secto Rally Finland.

Rovanperä who has taken five of seven victories so far this season and leads the championship with a great margin, was fastest through the Rannankylä shakedown on his final attempt with a time of 1:56.1 and was five-tenths of a second quicker than Lappi and followed up by the two-time rally winner Ott Tänak in the Hyundai i20 N Rally1.

The two local Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 drivers were sharing the fastest times throughout the three to four passes they went, Rovanperä started with the fastest time on the first run, Lappi took the fastest time on the second and third attempts before Rovanperä managed to move back up on the fourth attempt.

Takamoto Katsuta finished in fourth with 1.3 seconds behind Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans jumped up to fifth on the last run, putting four Toyotas within the top five meanwhile Hyundai´s Oliver Solberg who had an early spin on the stage on the first run was passed by Evans and went down to sixth.

M-Sport who is the only team that hasn´t conducted any tests ahead of Finland was lower down the standings with Craig Breen being the leading M-Sport driver in seventh, Hyundai´s Thierry Neuville took a disappointed eight fastest time and rounding up the top ten were the two French M-Sport drivers of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Adrien Fourmaux.

Credit: M-Sport

Jari Huttunen who is making his Rally1 debut with M-Sport on home soil took an eleventh time and Gus Greensmith last of the Rally1 drivers. Meanwhile, the local hero and former M-Sport driver Teemu Suninen tops the ranks in the WRC2 class for Hyundai Motorsport.

Russian Nikolay Gryazin went off the road and crashed very hard so he is out from the rally, the Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo car fielded by Toksport WRT will not be rebuilt and will be a written off due to roll cage damage, the driver and co-driver walked away unharmed.

Top 15 Shakedown times.

Pos. Number. Driver / Co-driver Nation Team Model Class Time
1 #69 Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen Finland Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 1:56.1
2. #4 Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm Finland Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 1:56.6
3. #8 Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja Estonia Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Rally1 1:57.0
4. #18 Takamoto Katsuta / Aaron Johnston Japan / UK Toyota Gazoo Racing NG WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 1:57.4
5. #33 Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin UK Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 1:57.7
6. #2 Oliver Solberg / Elliott Edmondson Sweden / UK Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Rally1 1:57.8
7. #42 Craig Breen / Paul Nagle Ireland M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 1:58.1
8. #11 Thierry Neuville / Martijn Wydaeghe Belgium Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Rally1 1:58.5
9. #7 Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais France M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 1:58.5
10. #16 Adrien Fourmaux / Alexandre Coria France M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 1:58.8
11. #68 Jari Huttunen / Mikko Lukka Finland M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 1:59.2
12. #44 Gus Greensmith / Jonas Andersoon UK / Sweden M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 2:00.3
13. #21 Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula Finland Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2 Rally2 2:05.8
14. #34 Fabrizio Zaldivar / Marcelo Der Ohannesian Paraguay / Argentina Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2 Rally2 2:06.3
15. #29 Mikolaj Marczyk / Szymon Gospodarczyk Poland Orlen Team Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo Rally2 2:07.3