Jari-Matti Latvala clinched his first home victory during Rally Finland last weekend in a sweat dripping tight finish between him and his teammate Sébastien Ogier. Co-driven by Miikka Anttila in their VW Polo R WRC Latvala gave the Finns a home victory which they last tasted in 2010. His teammate Ogier finished only 3.7 seconds behind in a battle that came down to the final stage. Latvala had brake problems the previous day but having led through earlier stages, he had a slim 3.4s lead on the final day.
Third place went to Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in their Citroen DS3 WRC which was the team’s third podium finish of the season. As for Latvala, this was his 11th career victory and Ogier ensured that Volkswagen Motorsports had a 1-2 podium finish and not too far behind, Andreas Mikkelsen finished in fourth with yet another Volkswagen. Mikko Hirvonen, Juho Hänninen and Elfyn Evans finished in that order behind Mikkelsen. Craig Been was the only retirement in this round after hurting his back from the jumps.
Ogier still leads the championship with 187 points, Latvala is second with 143 points while Mikkelsen is third with 95 points, the top three drivers also represent Volkswagen Motorsports. In the manufacturer’s standings, Volkswagen Motorsport leads the pack with 305 points while Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team is second with 130 points. M-Sport World Rally Team is third with 106 points.
The next round will head over to Germany for the first true tarmac WRC event, the ADAC Rallye Deutschland (21-24 August).
Video Review: Neste Oil Rally Finland 2014