Jari-Matti Latvala on track for Rally of Finland victory
Last Updated: 02/08/15 11:02am
Jari-Matti Latvala took control of the Rally of Finland with a dominant display on Saturday to put some breathing space between himself and Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier.
Finn Latvala began the day with a 2.6-second advantage and coped well with the treacherous conditions to add five more stage wins to extend his lead to 13.2sec.
Championship leader Ogier, who has won five races so far this year, topped the timesheets in Saturday's three other stages but the Frenchman lost time when he clipped a rock and is likely to have to settle for second place.
Norway's Mads Ostberg lies in third spot, one minute 28 seconds behind Latvala, after taking advantage of Citroen team-mate Kris Meeke's misfortune.
The Northern Irishman was placed third when he crashed out on stage 16, running wide and hitting a tree.
Latvala, a two-time winner of his home event, said: "I knew it was time to attack in the afternoon and it went well, despite the rain.
"That was the turning point of the rally. You have to take risks at the speeds we're at here. Some sections were wet and some dry, and it wasn't easy when you're at the maximum."
Ogier admitted his push for victory was slowed by a fear his Polo had punctured following the clash with the rock.
"I drove as hard as I could and have no regrets. Even if I finish second, it'll be a great result for the championship. I had a chance in the rain but missed it when I thought I had a puncture," he said.
There are only two stages on Sunday, both run over 14.13km at Myhinpaa.
1 J-M Latvala (Fin) Volkswagen 2:20:20.6
2 S Ogier (Fra) Volkswagen +13.2secs
3 M Ostberg (Nor) Citroen +1:28.0
4 T Neuville (Bel) Hyundai +3:26.5
5 O Tanak (Est) Ford +4:19.1
6 J Hanninen (Fin) Ford +4:21.0
7 M Prokop (Cze) Ford +5:41.2
8 E Lappi (Fin) Skoda +6:32.6
9 P Tidemand (Swe) Skoda +7:55.9
10 L Bertelli (Ita) Ford +8:56.8