For the third year in a row, Ott Tänak, lead driver in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, has won the fastest event on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar, Rally Finland.
Driving a Toyota Yaris, Ott Tänak repeated his victory from one year ago to increase his championship lead, while TOYOTA GAZOO’s Jari-Matti Latvala finished third in his home event. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team – which is based in Finland – maintained its record of getting two cars onto the podium at the event every year since its debut in 2017.
Tänak moved into the lead on Saturday following an intense battle with his team-mates and took a lead of 16.4 seconds into the final day. He increased that to 20s in the first of the final four states, when he claimed his 200th career WRC stage win – also his 120th in the Yaris WRC and 50th stage win this season.
Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team chairman, Akio Toyoda, said that after a disappointing result at the previous WRC event, the team had worked hard for the past six weeks to ensure “the best result at our home rally”.
“At one point on Saturday morning, all three Yaris WRC crews were covered by just 0.6 seconds. I strongly believe that such hard and enjoyable drives from our six drivers and co-drivers will make Yaris ever better,” he said.
Ott Tänak said it was a perfect start to the second half of the season. “It’s a great boost for the whole team and now we need to keep pushing,” he said.
The championship moves to Germany for the next round starting 22 August.
Rally Finland results:
- Ott Tänak, 2 hours 30 minutes 40.3 seconds
- Esapekka Lappi, 25.6 behind
- Jari-Matti Latvala, 33.2 behind
- Andreas Mikkelsen, 53.4 behind
- Sebastien Ogier, 56.1 behind
World Driver’s Championship:
- Tänak, 180 points
- Ogier, 158
- Neuville, 155
World Manufacturer’s Championship:
- Hyundai, 262 points
- TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT, 238
- Citroen, 198