Jari-Matti Latvala has extended his lead over Sebastien Ogier on Rally Finland to 8.4secs following Friday morning's four stages.

The home hope held a lead of just over four seconds from his Volkswagen team-mate Ogier following yesterday's first four stages, but wins on SS5 and SS6 at Pihlajakoski and Paijala would negate the Frenchman's third stage win of the rally on SS8 at Painaa.

Kris Meeke remains very much in contention in his Citroen DS3 WRC, the British driver unfortunate not to pick up his first stage win on SS6 when a late mistake cost him two seconds, though he would promptly go on to make amends on the Kakaristo SS7 with the fastest time. As such, he remains within range of leader Latvala, 13.1secs behind.

Related Articles

Mikko Hirvonen remains fourth in the new-look M-Sport Ford Fiesta, but is now 39.1secs adrift, while Norwegian duo Andrea Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg rise to fifth and sixth as the only remaining drivers within a minute of the lead.

Hyundai, meanwhile, endured a tough start to the day when Juho Hanninen - having been second fastest through SS2 - was hit by a slow puncture, before clipping a bank and rolling his i20 WRC. Though the car escaped serious damage - save for a damaged windscreen and dashboard - Hanninen has slipped from fourth to 11th overall, more than two minutes adrift.

Team-mate Thierry Neuville didn't escape issues either after losing his rear-wing, which in turn cost him a grip at the rear, keeping him pinned in eighth. As such, Haydon Paddon has taken over as Hyundai's highest-placed driver, the Kiwi performing well to rise from tenth overnight to seventh.

Elsewhere, Robert Kubica's Rally Finland has come to a premature end after he went off the road in SS5 Pihlajakoski, his misfortune promoting fellow Ford drivers Elfyn Evans and Martin Prokop into the top ten.

Rally Finland: Overall standings after Stage 8 (Top 10):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1: 01 26.5s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 08.4s M
3. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 13.1s
4. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 39.1s M
5. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +00m 50.3s M
6. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 51.1s M
7. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +01m 30.6s M
8. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +01m 32.9s M
9. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01m 58.2s M
10. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 16.6s M

Others

11. Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +02m 23.5s M
12. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 24.0s
13. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03m 45.9s
14. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +04m 13.3s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):

1. Jari Ketomaa Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 +1:05:39.8s WRC2
2. Karl Kruuda Ford Fiesta S2000 +00m 39.4s WRC2
3. Sebastien Chardonnet Citroen DS3 R5 +01m 13.3s WRC2

Notable retirements:

SS3. Jarkko Nikara Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road
SS5. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road M

M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial