Ott Tanak has regained a slender lead at Rally Finland on Friday’s opening loop with a 1.1s advantage over his Citroen rival.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver, who topped Thursday’s opening stage, briefly dropped behind Ostberg when the Norwegian driver claimed victory on SS4, Assamaki 1, but struck back on the final stage of the morning to reclaim the lead by just over one second.

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The two have pulled clear of the chasing pack with Tanak’s teammate and local star Jari-Matti Latvala in third place who is 10 seconds back.

Hayden Paddon leads the Hyundai charge in fourth place after teammate and WRC championship leader Thierry Neuville suffered a nightmare start to Rally Finland with a spin on SS5 to drop him down to tenth place and already over one minute off the front-runners.

Teemu Suninen heads up the M-Sport Ford trio in fifth place with Elfyn Evans ahead of defending WRC champion Sebastien Ogier as less than 30 seconds splits the top seven.

Esapekka Lappi gained a place to move up to eighth for Toyota at the expensive of Neuville’s spin, after spinning and stalling himself on the second stage, while Craig Breen also prospered to take ninth for Citroen after being hit by an early puncture on SS2.

Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen suffered a dreadful start to Rally Finland with an off on SS4 which saw him lose over three minutes and drop down to 29th overall.

 

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