Tänak holds on the Rally Finland lead after the Friday stages

The two-time Rally Finland winner, the Estonian Ott Tänak is the overnight rally leader after the first full-day of the 2022 Secto Rally Finland, the Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT driver won four out of the nine stages held throughout the Friday leg and he was under constant pressure from the flying finn Esapekka Lappi who came closer and closer to snatching the lead after winning the three remaining stages during the afternoon loop.

During the mid-day point of the day, Tänak had a 6.2 seconds lead over the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver but that got shortened down to only 3.8 seconds seperating the two Rally Finland winners at the end of the day. Lappi´s Toyota teammates Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä were holding on to third and fourth place respectively as they arrived back to Jyväskylä for the overnight, Evans is 12.2 seconds behind Tänak and Rovanperä closing in with 1.2 second abreast.

Rovanperä who is the current championship leader was struggling with the traction on the high-speed Finnish gravel roads as he opened the stages during the day and had some moments during the day, the Finn is hoping to close in more to the leader during the Saturday stages. Rovanperä was the only driver to go out on SS5 but he got red flagged and had to stop due to safety reasons with spectators not following orders from road-side marshalls, the stage also got cancelled later for the same reason just some minutes after the Finn was shown the red flag.

Credit: Hyundai Motorsport N

M-Sport´s Craig Breen is the leading Ford driver and is holding on to fifth place with half a minute back from the rally leader with Takamato Katsuta, who won the SS6 stage, 3.9 seconds back in sixth. Thierry Neuville won the opening stage on Thursday evening but he has since then dropped down the order a lot during the day due to setup issues, the Belgian sits currently in seventh. the M-Sport duo of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Gus Greensmith ended their day on eight and ninth respectively meanwhile the leading WRC2 class home hero Teemu Suninen rounding up the top ten.

The local Rally1 debutant Jari Huttunen had issues with fuel pressure throughout the day and the Finn´s M-Sport teammate Adrien Fourmaux damaged his drvieshaft which caused power steering issues and was 20 minutes behind at the end of the day but the most unluckiest one was Hyundai´s Oliver Solberg who ended his rally early on as he went off the road on the first stage of the day just a couple of metres in to the stage.

Top 10 result after Friday:

Pos. Number Driver / Co-driver Country Team Model Class Time
1. #8 Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja Estonia Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Rally1 50:41.2
2. #4 Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm Finland Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 50:45.0
3. #33 Elfyn Evans / Scott Maritn UK Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 51:00.5
4. #69 Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen Finland Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 51:02.2
5. #42 Craig Breen / Paul Nagle Ireland M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 51:13.7
6. #18 Takamoto Katsuta / Aaron Johnston Japan / UK Toyota Gazoo Racing NG WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 51:16.7
7. #11 Thierry Neuville / Martijn Wydaeghe Belgium Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Rally1 51:31.4
8. #7 Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais France M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 51:42.1
9. #44 Gus Greensmith / Jonas Andersson UK / Sweden M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 51:43.8
10- #21 Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula Finland Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2 WRC2 53:41.1