Sebastien Ogier's advantage at the top of the World Rally Championship standings is set to come under serious threat after he crashed out of the Rally Finland, while Toyota held a 1-2 following a punishing first loop of stages.

With six stages establishing a busy opening to the iconic high-speed event, Jari-Matti Latvala emerged out front as the local favourites impressed by locking out four of the top six positions.

The experienced Finn won just a single stage but consistency is keeping him ahead of young team-mate Esapekka Lappi, whose four consecutive top times in SS4, SS5, SS6 and SS7 would have placed him ahead but for a slow time in SS2. Either way, he heads into the afternoon just 1.6s shy of the lead.

Mads Ostberg runs in third position, with Craig Breen the only non-Scandinavian driver in the top six as the leading Citroen, while Teemu Suninen and Juho Hanninen showed local knowledge is key around the notoriously tricky stages, the sextet with 20secs of the front.

In a dramatic start to the event, championship leader Ogier's event lasted until just SS4 when a heavy landing from a jump broke the suspension on his M-Sport Ford Fiesta, forcing him to retire.

The Frenchman came into the event with an 11 point lead over Thierry Neuville and faces the prospect of losing it should the Belgian maintain his strong run of recent form. Even so, the Hyundai driver was only ninth after the first morning, chasing up Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans, but is poised to rise with a more favourable road position tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Ott Tanak led briefly before a damaged wheel dropped him out of contention, the Estonian back up to 11th behind Dani Sordo in tenth.

Hayden Paddon is out after damaging his car on SS4.



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