Rally Finland: Air Meeke flies to his third WRC victory
Kris Meeke wins 2016 Rally Finland, becoming the first ever British driver to win one of the most popular world’s rallies. Citroen’s driver was leading from the first day of the rally and after 24 special stages and 333 competitive kilometers he scored his third WRC victory of the career and second win of the season ahead of Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala. The Finnish driver was 29.1 seconds behind Meeke.
After the exciting battle for third place on the podium, the Irishman Craig Breen (Citroen DS3 WRC) reached his first podium in a career, holding of Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon (both Hyundai i20 WRC) behind. Neuville was the fastest driver on te Power Stage, ahead of Paddon and Latvala, so they took some additional points.
Mads Ostberg (M-Sport Ford) finished sixth overall, in front of Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen). Esapekka Lappi (Škoda Fabia R5), Kevin Abbring (Hyundai i20 WRC) and Teemu Suninen (Škoda Fabia R5) completed the Top 10.
The defending world champion Sebastien Ogier lost all chances for good result after the off-road excursion at Special stage 10 on Friday. He stuck in a ditch on the hairpin corner and had to wait more than 16 minutes to get out. After that, he only can drive carefully to limit the damage, trying to score some points at the Power Stage. He didn’t succeed, so he left Finland without new points.
Among top drivers, Eric Camilli (M-Sport Ford) and Ott Tanak (D-Mack Ford) crashed out. In the WRC 2 competition, Pontus Tidemand lost the third place after he crashed with Škoda Fabia R5 at the last stage, handind the podium to Elfyn Evans. The WRC 2 winner is Finnish driver Esapekka Lappi, ahead of countryman Teemu Suninen. In the Junior WRC class, reserved for the driver of Citroen DS3 R3T cars, the winner is Ole Christian Veiby.