The first 31 timed kilometers of the Arctic Rally Finland have just been successfully completed. Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja set the fastest time of the first stage in their Hyundai i20 WRC. Spectacular the difference between the rest of the participants, also taking advantage of its magnificent starting position.
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle have made a good comeback to the World Rally Championship. Also with a good starting position, they have set the second best time. The Irish finished just 3.6 seconds behind their teammates.
Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen came in scratch times ahead of the rest. However, a small mistake in the middle of the special made them lose ten seconds (they hit a snow bank). Still, third, 10.6 seconds behind the lead. The Finns are going to fight a lot …
Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans finished just after, separated by a few seconds apart – 2 and 6 behind Rovanperä – in fourth and fifth place. Pierre-Louis Loubet also set a very correct time. The Frenchman was sixth, just seven tenths behind Evans.
Teemu Suninen was the first classified Ford, seventh, close to his most immediate rivals. Takamoto Katsuta, Sébastien Ogier (opening the track) and Oliver Solberg have closed the first ten places of the general classification among the WRCs. Today there is only one special, at the same stage, to end the day.
Classification after TC-1:
|1.||Tänak/Järveoja – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC|
|2.||Breen/Nagle – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+3.6|
|3.||Rovanperä/Halttunen – Toyota Yaris WRC||+10.6|
|4.||Neuville/Wydaeghe – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+12.4|
|5.||Evans/Martin – Toyota Yaris WRC||+16.7|
|6.||Loubet/Landais – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||+17.4|
|7.||Suninen/Markkula – Ford Fiesta WRC||+18.8|
|8.||Katsuta/Barritt – Toyota Yaris WRC||+19.9|