Sebastien Ogier has taken the early lead on Rally Finland after going quickest through the 2.27 km Harju super special on Thursday evening.

Ogier, who leads the Drivers' Championship by a commanding 78 points, is bidding for his sixth win of the season this weekend, and he completed the test in 1 minute 48.6 seconds, 0.6s up on Britain's Kris Meeke, while Andreas Mikkelsen was third, 0.2s further back.

"Happy to finish like this," Ogier told the official WRC site, "it's easy to make a mistake here. Okay, a small advantage with the drying road. Tomorrow we have a really long day ahead. A tough challenge [with no mid-day service and only a re-group]."

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Behind, former F1 driver Robert Kubica came in fourth, with Jari-Matti Latvala fifth and Mads Ostberg, who was quickest in the shakedown, sixth. Martin Prokop, Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Ott Tanak filled positions 7 through to 10, the latter struggling with no handbrake: "I was locking all four wheels," said Tanak. "I am not happy at the moment..."

Rally Finland now resumes on Friday with nine stages on the schedule and a total competitive distance of over 155 kilometres. SS2, the 14.51 km Pihlajakoski 1 test, is due to start tomorrow at 09.28 hours local time [07.28 hours UK time].

Full itinerary for round eight in WRC 2015 available - HERE.

2015 Rally Finland: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1m 48.6s M
2. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 00.6s M
3. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 00.8s M
4. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 01.1s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 01.6s M
6. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 01.7s M
7. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 01.9s M
8. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 02.6s M
9. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 03.0s M
10. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 03.9s M


11. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +0m 04.0s M
12. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS 3 RRC +0m 04.8s WRC2
= Eyvind Brynildsen Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 04.8s WRC2
14. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 04.9s M
15. Juho Hanninen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 05.0s
16. Lorenzo Bertelli FWRT SRL Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 05.3s M

WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS 3 RRC 1m 53.4s WRC2
= Eyvind Brynildsen Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 00.0s WRC2
3. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 01.3s WRC2

Notable retirements:


M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial