The Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team claimed an emphatic victory on home turf on Sunday with Ott Tänak powering to an impressive win on Rally Finland. He was joined on the podium by team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala who clinched third place.
Across the four days of the event, the Toyota Yaris WRC was the dominant car, claiming fastest times on 18 of the 23 gravel stages. This is how the epic weekend panned-out…
2018 Rally Finland: day one
Review: Rally Finland got underway following the opening stage in the centre of host city Jyväskylä, which consisted of both asphalt and gravel. Watched on by enthusiastic crowds and with strong support for the locally-based Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, Ott Tänak posted the fastest time to claim an early rally lead.
Ott Tänak (driver car 8): “This first city stage is a nice one. It’s pretty demanding, with a few high-speed sections. We had a good clean run and I was happy with how it went but tomorrow’s stages will obviously be completely different.
“Shakedown was good confirmation that we had everything ready for the rally. We knew that our car should be strong here and we need to make the most of that. It will be a long week and I expect some tight fights but the aim is to come out on top.”
2018 Rally Finland: day two
Review: Toyota leads after the first full day. Tänak delivered a strong performance throughout, winning five stages and leading by 5.8 seconds heading into Saturday. Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala also occupies a podium position in third place.
Tommi Mäkinen (team principal): “It has been a very good day. Ott has been incredibly fast. He didn’t have the easiest conditions today. The stages are so dry compared to what we’re used to here in Finland, so there has been a lot of road cleaning for the first cars.
“I think there could be more speed to come from Jari-Matti, too, as normally he flies on the roads we’re going to tomorrow. And I’m sure Lappi can go faster as well. He had a problem with the centre differential this morning, so his car was a bit nervous. But we solved the issue and he was much happier this afternoon. It’s great to be doing well again at our home event.”
2018 Rally Finland: day three
Review: The Yaris WRC continues to lead Rally Finland after an exceptional performance on Saturday, when it won all eight stages. Tänak increased his leading margin to 39 seconds, Latvala consolidated his podium position and Esapekka Lappi charged from eighth to fourth. During the afternoon, the three Toyota drivers posted the three fastest times on three consecutive stages, demonstrating the team’s strength on its home roads.
Jari-Matti Latvala (driver car 7): “It has been really enjoyable today. There was still a little bit of speed missing during the morning loop but we made some changes to the car in the midday service and I started to get a better feeling and I could start to push more. This meant I was wearing my tyres a lot but it was amazing how fast we were still able to go.
“Of course, we need to try and attack tomorrow and get second place. But they will need to be controlled risks and that’s important.”
2018 Rally Finland: day four
Review: The Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team is celebrating victory on home soil on Rally Finland after Tänak sealed a hugely impressive win by setting the fastest time on the Power Stage. Latvala clinched third place to give the team a fantastic double podium.
Akio Toyoda (team chairman): “There is no happier feeling than to take victory in our home rally. The roads of Finland have helped us to make the Yaris WRC better for our drivers and help them really enjoy the driving. I’d like to express our appreciation to all of the fans supporting TGR.”
Tommi Mäkinen: “What a weekend, and what an end to the rally! It was an absolutely spectacular moment, especially with Ott managing to win the last stage. It has been an incredible drive from him. Jari-Matti’s battle for second was fantastic too, going right down to the last stage. He had to settle for third in the end but I am generally very happy with the result here on our home event.”
Ott Tänak: “It has been a perfect weekend; everything worked as we wanted. We had perfect preparation and full support from the team. If you work together as one then these kind of results are achievable. To win in Finland is definitely special, and to win in front of all this support is incredible.”
2018 Rally Finland: final result
|1||Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||2h 35m 18.1s|
|2||Mads Østberg / Torstein Eriksen||Citroen C3 WRC||+ 32.7s|
|3||Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||+ 35.5s|
|4||Hayden Paddon / Seb Marshall||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 1m 35.6s|
|5||Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia||Ford Fiesta WRC||+ 2m 15.0s|
|6||Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula||Ford Fiesta WRC||+ 2m 19.2s|
|7||Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt||Ford Fiesta WRC||+ 2m 29.5s|
|8||Craig Breen / Scott Martin||Citroen C3 WRC||+ 3m 08.4s|
|9||Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 3m 51.8s|
|10||Andreas Mikkelson / Anders Jaeger||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+ 8m 37.4s|
|Retired||Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm||Toyota Yaris WRC||NA|
The ninth round of the 2018 World Rally Championship is Rally Deutschland, which takes place on 16-19 August.