Suzuki's Michal Kosciuszko closed the gap on Junior World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier on the Neste Oil Rally Finland last weekend to keep up the pressure on the Frenchman.

Kosciuszko led for much of the event, but missed out on the ten points which would have carried him to the top of the table when he slipped off the road on Saturday's penultimate test.

After winning the last round of the Junior championship in Sardinia, Kosciuszko had arrived in Finland as one of the favourites to take another victory, instead though he had to settle for P3 - the same position he finished in last year.

Furthermore while the gap himself and Ogier is that much less in the J-WRC drivers' championship now - and down to just 2 points, Kosciuszko will miss the next J-WRC event in Germany, just like Ogier wasn't able to score in Finland, as it is not one of his six nominated points' scoring rounds.

"Today has been good. It was a difficult position. We were a minute behind second place and a long way ahead of the driver in fourth place. Today was a day for checking the pace notes and not for taking big risks," said Polish star.

"I needed the points for the championship and we've done that. The car has been very good, it has been perfect with just the right set-up for the whole event."

Asked about the mistake in SS20, he added that he had been distracted by an accident involving another car: "I saw a car off the road in front of me. Okay, I came around the car and dropped a couple of seconds, but my concentration was not so good after this," he explained.

"I then went off the road and into a ditch on a corner. I couldn't get the car out straight away. It's very disappointing after such a big fight with [the Citroen of] Martin Prokop."

Kosciuszko's Suzuki team-mate Jaan Molder meanwhile did not get to the end after rolling his Swift S1600 on day two. Local hotshot and 'wild card' runner Kalle Pinomaki also crashed out in his Swift, while Florian Niegel finished ninth in the J-WRC on his first outing in Finland.

"What can you say about these roads? They are fantastic. I have really enjoyed this event," added Niegel, who competes under the 'Suzuki Rallye Junior Team Germany' banner. "Okay at times, there have been some big ruts which have made it tough for the car, but mechanically, it has been very strong. Now I can really go to my home rally, the Rallye Deutschland on a high. I can't wait for it!"


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