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Results Rally Finland 2018: Tänak dominates the classic

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Result Rally Finland 2018
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M it was the start of the Finland Rally the second half of the WRC season, the big rally classic on the program. And this year too, the Northmen made the victory among themselves. The World Championship duel between Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville took a back seat. The two world championship leaders struggled with their bad starting positions on the first day.

With a large deficit, Neuville took no risks to take at least two points for 9th place and two points for fourth place on the final Power Stage. Ogier struggled mainly with the setup of his car. The world champion couldn't cope with the new aero package that M-Sport had given the Ford Fiesta for Finland. In addition, new dampers from ZF were installed for the first time. Because his two team-mates Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen deliberately dropped back, there were still 10 points for 5th place in the end, which meant that Ogier was able to reduce the gap in the drivers' standings to 21 points.

Tänak wins easily

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Two Toyota on the podium at the home rally in Finland.

The world championship fight was mainly outshone by the brilliant performance of Ott Tänak. The Estonian took to the track on the first day directly behind Neuville and Ogier and showed that you don't have to be without a chance even with an early start position. On the first stages, Mads Östberg was able to keep up with the Citroën to some extent. But on the second day Tänak set himself apart from the Norwegian with a fireworks display of best times and in the end drove confidently to his first Finland victory with a 32.7 second lead. The icing on the cake was victory on the Power Stage.

Östberg was able to prove that themassive conversion work on the Citroën were successful. The French factory team changed the entire axle geometry during the summer break. Nevertheless, in the end, Östberg had to give everything to fend off local hero Jari-Matti Latvala's race to catch up and to save second place. With 2.8 seconds ahead of the Finn, Östberg prevented a Toyota one-two victory after 317.26 kilometers.

Lappi rollover rattles Toyota party

Also a triple success of the Tommi Makkinen's troop, based in Finland, would have been there. Youngster Esapekka Lappi showed, especially on the second day of the rally, that his package had the necessary pace. But lying in fourth place, the youngster rolled himself out of the race three stages before the end. Hayden Paddon benefited from the Lappis accident. The New Zealander finished fourth as the fastest Hyundai driver and the best non-Northern European.

The next World Championship round will take place on the third weekend in August in Germany. If Tänak still wants to intervene in the fight for the title, 46 points behind World Cup leader Neuville, he must continue his winning streak. But Neuville and Ogier will certainly not make it as easy for him again as on Finnish gravel.

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