July 29, 2018 / 1:20 PM / 4 months ago

Rallying: Tanak wins in Finland, Neuville stays top overall

(Reuters) - Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Finland for Toyota on Sunday while Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville finished ninth but retained the overall world championship lead.

Estonian driver Ott Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja get airborne with their Toyota Yaris WRC during Ruuhimaki 1 Special Stage of WRC Rally Finland near Jyvaskyla, Finland on July 29, 2018. Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/via REUTERS

The victory, over gravel roads in the fastest round of the calendar, was Tanak’s second of the season after Argentina in April and he won by 32.7 seconds.

Tanak also won the final power stage for a bonus five points.

Norwegian Mads Ostberg was second for Citroen, denying Toyota a one-two finish by beating Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala by 2.8 seconds.

France’s reigning champion Sebastien Ogier was fifth for M-Sport Ford.

After eight of 13 rounds, Neuville has a 21 point lead over Ogier with the Belgian on 153 — and picking up two power stage points — and his rival now on 132.

Hyundai lead M-Sport in the constructors’ standings by 26 points.

“Road position has really dictated a lot this weekend,” said Neuville. “Even without our mistake on Friday, when we misread a pace note, I don’t think we would have been any higher up the classification.

“The main target was not losing too many points to Ogier, which we did to the best of our ability. We could only control what’s in our hands. We gave it everything we could in the Power Stage and it was good to take a couple of extra points.”

The next round is in Germany on Aug 16-19.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in Budapest, editing by Christian Radnedge

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