Hyundai’s Ott Tanak dominated WRC Arctic Rally Finland as he scored his first win of the 2021 season in good points haul for his team.
Tanak with co-driver Martin Jarveoja had a strong run all-through the WRC Arctic Rally Finland, as he never lost the lead from SS1 until SS10, to register his first win of the 2021 season in a dominant show abode his Hyundai i20 Coupe.
Such was his run that Tanak won SS1, SS2, SS3, SS5 and SS6 in a clean run with only minor brush with a snow bank. Teammate Craig Breen (co-driver Paul Nagale) was on his tail initially, but was overpowered by Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera (co-driver Jonne Halttunen).
Rovanpera struggled with his Yaris WRC which included a snow bank hit, but he still had enough pace to keep himself in second, whereas Breen even dropped behind his Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville (co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe).
The biggest hit was for Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier (co-driver Julien Ingrassia), as the Frenchman’s troubled WRC Arctic Rally Finland ended in a deep snow bank hit. It was a salvage run from the 2020 champion after finding it tough in the terrain.
He was running far behind from the Top 3 as the aim was to finish in the Top 5 but a small push in SS8 resulted in a deep hit, which dropped him out of contention. Ogier re-joined for Sunday’s final stages, where the aim was to score extra points in Power Stage.
But it wasn’t enough still for Ogier as he couldn’t score any points, with teammate Rovanpera winning the Power Stage eventually. He scored extra points for Toyota, who had a tough outing in the WRC Arctic Rally Finland against Hyundai’s 1-3-4-7 finish.
The overall win was taken up by Tanak by 17.5s over Rovanpera, who registered his second WRC podium – first since last year’s Sweden event. The Finn had SS7 win against his name, whereas third-placed Neuville won SS8, finishing just 2.3s off the Toyota driver.
With Breen in fourth, Toyota’s Elfyn Evans (co-driver Scott Martin) was fifth, having won SS4 and SS9. Much like Ogier, the Welshman did not have outright pace, with private entrant Takamoto Katsuta (co-driver Daniel Barritt) in the Yaris WRC in sixth.
WRC debutant for Hyundai 2C Competition, Oliver Solberg (co-driver Sebastian Marshall) lined-up seventh in a solid show ahead of two M-Sport entrants of Teemu Suninen (co-driver Mikko Markkula) and Gus Greensmith (co-driver Elliott Edmondson) in Ford Fiesta.
Ogier ended up outside the overall Top 10 which devoid him of points. The Arctic Rally Finland ended with the organisers having a moment towards WRC race winner, Hannu Mikkola, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.
Here’s full results: https://www.wrc.com/en/wrcplus/live-timing/
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