WRC Rally Finland: Latvala poised for home win

Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala increases his lead on Rally Finland to 14.1 seconds with just the Power Stage remaining
Jari-Matti Latvala has won the penultimate stage of Rally Finland to close in on victory on his home event.

Latvala was 0.9 seconds up on Volkswagen team-mate and closest rival, Sebastien Ogier in SS19 to extend his advantage to 14.1 seconds.

“It's a relief [to get through],” said Latvala. “What a roller coaster – the stage is impressive and there were places where I didn't expect to jump. One stage to go now – time wise we are OK but we still need a clear run and that is important.”

“I don't know about the Power Stage yet [and how much we will push],” he added, “let's see how we feel when it comes.”

Meanwhile, Ogier said there is “nothing” now to fight for: “It [SS19] was just a high speed recce. For sure it's an impressive stage, I have a lot of respect for it. There is nothing to fight for though, so I try to work on my notes for the Power Stage.”

Behind, there were no shocks, Citroen's Mads Ostberg in third said he was just “concentrating on getting through cleanly”, while Thierry Neuville echoed those sentiments in fourth in his Hyundai.

“The team have done a good job,” Neuville remarked. “The car is working perfectly [after the issues on Saturday afternoon]. I am really happy, a steady run today. We have to get the car back and get the manufacturers' points.”

Ott Tanak is next up in fifth for M-Sport, 5s ahead of Juho Hanninen, followed by Martin Prokop, WRC2 runners Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand and Lorenzo Bertelli in positions 7 through to 10.

Kris Meeke was able to re-start this morning under Rally 2 and he was third fastest in the penultimate stage. However, he is running well down after his exit on Saturday in SS16.

Robert Kubica did not re-start after his crash in the final test on Saturday and joins the likes of Andreas Mikkelsen and Hayden Paddon on the sidelines.

Competitors head to the regroup now before tackling the 14.13 km Myhinpaa test again at 13.08 hours local time [11.08 hours UK time].

2015 Rally Finland: Overall standings after Stage 19 (Top 10):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2hrs 26m 47.3s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 14.1s M
3. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +1m 32.8s M
4. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +3m 44.2s M
5. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 25.5s M
6. Juho Hanninen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 30.5s
7. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 02.3s M
8. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 +6m 52.7s WRC2
9. Pontus Tidemand Skoda Fabia R5 +8m 24.9s WRC2
10. Lorenzo Bertelli FWRT SRL Ford Fiesta RS WRC +9m 14.3s M


11. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +9m 51.8s M
12. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS 3 RRC +10m 13.0s WRC2
13. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11m 39.3s M
14. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +11m 40.5s WRC2
15. Scott Pedder Ford Fiesta R5 +13m 17.0s WRC2
16. Anders Grondal Citroen DS 3 R5 +14m 43.1s WRC2
17. Khalid Al Qassimi Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +15m 49.7s

WRC2 standings after Stage 19 (Top 3):

1. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 2hrs 33m 40.8s WRC2
2. Pontus Tidemand Skoda Fabia R5 +1m 32.2s WRC2
3. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen DS 3 RRC +3m 20.3s WRC2

Notable retirements:

SS5. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC Crashed M
SS5/6. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical*
SS5/6. Craig Breen Peugeot 208 T16 Engine WRC2
SS6. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC Crashed M

SS16. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC Broke front-left wheel M**
SS18. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC Rolled

*denotes re-started on Saturday under Rally 2
**denotes re-started on Sunday under Rally 2

M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.07.2015 - Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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