2nd round, Arctic Rally Finland
Tanak returns to winning ways
Arctic Rally Finland became the winter WRC event for 2021, after the cancellation of Rally Sweden.
The rally that was based at the city of Rovaniemi in Northern Finland, was held under magnificent, for the World Rally Championship, conditions, with lots of snow, ice and solid snowbanks in the special stages.
The first WRC edition of Arctic Rally Finland was won by Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja, who led the classification from the very first stage and were never seriosly threatened.
Finns Kalle Rovanpera-Jonne Halttunen finished second, after their best performance in WRC. Moreover, with this result, Rovanpera became the youngest ever driver to lead the Overall Standings of the World Rally Championship.
Belgians Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe finished once again in third place, whilst Craig Breen-Paul Nagle, Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin and Takamoto Katsuta-Dan Barritt, rounded off the Top6.
In parallel, it is worth noting the debut of 19 years old Oliver Solberg, who impressed by finishing 7th overall, in a top specification rally car. Just for Arctic Rally Finland, Solberg's codriver was Seb Marshall, as Aaron Johnston was tested positive in Covid-19.
In WRC2, victory went to the hands of Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (Movisport, Volkswagen Polo R5), who returned in the series after Monza Rally, when they were still part of M-Sport Ford.
Locals Teemu Asunmaa-Marko Salminen (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) won WRC3.
Among the high-profile participants, Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia were forced to retire terporarily, after a small off road, that led to their Toyota Yaris WRC getting stuck in a snowbank.
Arctic Rally Finland
Special Stages: 10
Length: 251,08 kms
Final Classification – Top 10
1 O. Tanak-M. Jarveoja Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2:03:49.6
2 K. Rovanpera-J. Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC +17.5
3 T. Neuville-M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +19.8
4 C. Breen-P. Nagle Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +52.6
5 E. Evans-S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC +1:01.5
6 T. Katsuta-D. Barritt Toyota Yaris WRC +1:37.8
7 O. Solberg-S. Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:39.0
8 T. Suninen-M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +2:09.0
9 G. Greensmith-E. Edmondson Ford Fiesta WRC +3:39.4
10 E. Lappi-J. Ferm VW Polo R5 (1οι WRC2) +6:07.0
Fastest times: Tanak 5, Evans-Rovanpera 2, Neuville 1
Rally leader/stage: 1-10 Tanak