Tanak holds a tight lead as Lapi gets closer

Tanak took the lead in the day’s first stage, winning three of Friday’s eight completed stages to hold the 8.3sec lead, which fell to 3.8sec after Lappé finished the day with three straight wins.

Toyota Elvin Evans He struggled for a first-second match throughout the fast gravel stages, but came into service in third at 19.3sec, but ahead of rally favorite and championship leader Kali Rovanpera. The Finn coped well with the opening of the roads in his home event to finish on Friday 4th, albeit 21.0 seconds behind Tanak.

Craig Brin He led the M-Sport Ford team in fifth place, ahead of Takamoto Katsuta In the sixth.

Sunshine from the morning was replaced by overcast conditions with patches of moisture in the air, but the change in weather failed to quell the afternoon battle between Tanak and Lappé at the front.

Tanak admitted he was taking risks in the seventh stage but it paid off as the Estonian took his third stage victory in the event. He took 2.1 seconds off Lappi, who finished second in the test and was full of praise for his rival.

“This isn’t a fight,” Labe said. “I’m losing all the time! Ott is doing a good job.”

Evans continued to struggle to find the sweet spot in his GR Yaris, dropping 2.0 seconds ahead of Rovanpera in the fight for third after drama hit Brin, who started the afternoon ring by sitting fourth.

Brin hit a rock during the stage with a right corner of a Puma that cost him 10.1secs and dropped the Irishman to fifth overall.

Meanwhile, Rovanpera pushed hard into the stage and revealed that he “left nothing in there” but his time was 2.2 seconds shy of Tanak.

Kali Rovanpera, John Haltonen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1

Photography: Toyota Racing

Lappe responded to the challenge set by Tanak on the eighth stage as the Finn managed to surpass an astonishing benchmark posted by the rally leader.

For the first time on the rally, Tanak said he felt comfortable behind the wheel and produced a time that left many of the field stunned. However, it wasn’t enough to deny Lappe, who finished the test 2.1 seconds faster to cut Tanak’s lead to 6.2 seconds.

Rovanpera remained in the heat of the fight with the third fastest time, which left him only second behind Evans in the battle for third place.

Brin was still feeling the effects of the impact on the previous stage and had to deal with a wounded puma. The Irishman wasn’t the only M-Sport battling a problem as newcomer Jari Huttunen suddenly lost his power during the stage.

The Finn, who started the eighth stage, was able to re-launch the car before stopping again and left to reach the end of the stage with a significant drop in power with a fuel pressure problem, which continued into the next test.

Up front, Lappi kept turning the nail on Tanak after his Stage 9 win to reduce the lead to 5.3s as the latter felt the i20 N was starting to feel sluggish.

The battle for third place remained intense as fourth-placed Rovanpera managed to snatch 0.5s from Evans, who felt even stronger on the penultimate stage.

Brin ranked fifth on the stage, and despite his strength through the difficult stage, he still had time to wave to some of his supporters.

Craig Breen, Paul Nagel, M Sport, Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally 1

Craig Breen, Paul Nagel, M Sport, Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally 1

Photography: M Sport

The final leg of the day saw Lappi turn the heat up again by skipping Tanak by 0.9sec to close within 3.8sec of the climb advance.

Evans managed to open the gap to Rovanpera in third after the latter survived a wild moment. Rovanpera somehow managed to clear the car away from what would have been a massive impact on the trees after running wide on the left side.

Rally Finland continues on Saturday with 150 km of competitive stages awaiting its crews.

WRC Rally Finland – Ranking after Stage 10 (Top 10)