A promising start to the Rally Finland for ŠKODA. In the FABIA R5 from ŠKODA Motorsport, Finns Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm won nine of the 11 special stages on Friday and are leading the WRC2 standings, 42.5 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals.
Their Swedish team-mates Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson finished the day in third position (+ 43.8 seconds). Local heroes Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula squeezed in between the two ŠKODA works duos, having already won three of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC2) rounds in a FABIA R5 from the ŠKODA customer sport programme.
During the course of Friday afternoon, team-mate Tidemand continued to improve on the ultra-fast gravel roads situated west and north of the university city of Jyväskylä, and engaged in a thrilling duel with ŠKODA brand team-mate Suninen. The two were separated by just a few tenths of second on many special stages.
The Rally Finland started on Thursday evening with a super special stage for thousands of fans in the Jyväskylä rally centre – and Lappi was fastest here too. Bathed in sunshine, and with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius, the teams completed eleven more special stages on Friday, over a total distance of 146.85 kilometres. Eight stages are scheduled for Saturday, including two visits to the legendary “Ouninpohja” section.
Rally Finland 2016 – WRC2 classification after 12 of 24 stages:
- Lappi / Ferm (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5: 1h15m24.0s
- Suninen / Markkula (FIN/FIN); ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 42.5s
- Tidemand / Andersson (S/S); ŠKODA FABIA R5: + 43.8s
- Kruuda / Jarveoja (EST/EST); Ford Fiesta R5: + 1m19.6s
- Solberg / Minor (N/A); Ford Fiesta R5: + 2m5.1s
The number of the day: 9
ŠKODA Motorsport and Esapekka Lappi won nine of 11 special stages in the WRC2 category on Friday. Thanks to this flawless performance, the “Flying Finn” finished ahead of nine teams competing with more powerful World Rally Cars and has reached tenth place in the overall standings.