Esapekka Lappi closes on maiden victory as Jari-Matti Latvala breaks down

Credit Jaanus Ree  Red Bull Content Pool
Credit Jaanus Ree Red Bull Content Pool
Author

30 July, 2017

It was a case of another day, another pesky rock for Hayden Paddon after he was forced to make an early withdrawal with broken suspension for a second straight day at Rally Finland.

"We ran slightly wide on the same corner several other drivers did", Paddon said afterwards.

Kaukonen had initially put a 15 day suspension on Ingrassia's ability to compete due to his concussion, which ends five days before the first stage of Rally Deutschland on August 17. "We were going through a blind left, into a right, when all of a sudden I caught sight of a big football-sized rock in the road".

The British team had brought Ogier's auto back under Rally2 and retired once again at Saturday's first time check, with the objective of restarting on Sunday and aiming for points from the rally-ending powerstage.

Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall, who finished second in Rally Poland earlier this month, had been tracking well early on.

His hopes of a fourth victory on his home event ended when his Toyota Yaris ground to a halt with a suspected electrical problem midway through the famous Ouninpohja special stage, leaving Lappi clear.

But then things took a turn for the worse when the auto ran wide on a corner, hitting a rock which damaged the rear-right suspension and forced an eventual withdrawal from the day's racing.

Though Latvala briefly got going again, he soon had to park once more and was pushed off the stage by spectators.

"Unfortunately we ran just a little bit wide on a fast left-hander and hit a rock that was in a ditch".

"We were a little unfortunate to pick up the damage we did, a bit of continuation of the bad luck we've had this year".

"It's certainly not a loss".

Lappi, in his debut season in the World Rally Championship top level, took advantage of his teammate Jari-Matti Latvala's misfortune to move to within touching distance of a break-through win.

Third Toyota driver Juho Hanninen was in the fourth position, but a damaged suspension saw him slip to fifth.


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