Tanak and Rovanpera fight it out in Finland

·2-min read

Ott Tanak and Kalle Rovanpera head into the closing stages of the Rally of Finland with only 8.4 seconds splitting the pair.

Tanak, the 2019 world champion, holds the upper hand behind the wheel of his Hyundai after close of play Saturday with only Sunday's four specials remaining.

But the Estonian has no room for error with his Finnish rival, a five-time winner this season, waiting to pounce in his Toyota.

This duo are well clear of the rest of the pack, with another Finnish Toyota driver Esapekka Lappi third, over half a minute behind, with Elfyn Evans in fourth.

The Welsh driver was hampered Saturday by a shock absorber problem which he had to fix himself but it left him with 1min 19.7sec to make up.

Tanak had begun Saturday leading Lappi, who struggled with a broken windscreen making visibilty difficult, by almost four seconds.

Evans won Saturday's opener before Rovanpera claimed the next two to put him back in the hunt for his sixth win from eight rallies this year having begun the day 20sec behind.

Tanak notched up two specials and shared the honours of stage 17 with Rovanpera who ended Saturday with a fifth win to set up a tantalising duel on Sunday morning.


1. Ott Tänak-Martin Järveoja (EST/Hyundai) 2 h 02:44.0, 2. Kalle Rovanperä-Jonne Halttunen (FIN/Toyota) at 8.4, 3. Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (FIN/Toyota) 35.2, 4. Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin (GBR/Toyota) 1:19.7, 5. Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL/Hyundai) 2:05.5, 6. Takamoto Katsuta-Aaron Johnston (JPN-IRL/Toyota) 2:47.5, 7. Gus Greensmith-Jonas Andersson (GBR-SWE/M-Sport Ford) 3:23.0, 8. Pierre-Louis Loubet-Vincent Landais (FRA/M-Sport Ford) 3:27.2

Stage winners: Tänak 5 (SS2, SS4, SS7, SS14, SS17 equal), Rovanperä 6 (SS12, SS13, SS15 to SS17 equala, S18), Neuville 1 (SS1), Lappi 4 (SS3, SS8 to SS10), Katsuta 1 (SS6), Evans 1 (SS11)


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