Hyundai take command

Surprise at Rally Finland. In a test that takes place at the home of the rival team, Toyota, where the Yaris have won the last three editions disputed, The Hyundais have taken over after the first stage. Craig Breen and Ott Tanak top the rankings, although with Elfyn Evans, Esapekka Lappi and Kalle Rovanpera, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, glued to her back.

After the ephemeral and surprising lead of the Japanese Takamoto Katsuta in the opening stage, the urban superspecial of Harju, Tanak took command, who only yielded to his teammate Breen in the last stage of the day. At night, the first time running in the dark in Finland since 1994, the Irishman launched a heavy attack with which he unseated the Estonian.

“It’s amazing,” explained Breen. “I always wondered what Finland would be like in the dark and now I have lived it. It is absolutely amazing. To be honest, my lights weren’t 100 percent, but it’s just awesome. ” Tanak, for his part, explained that “it’s surprising. We never expected to be in the battle with Toyota, so it was great. But this is only the beginning and tomorrow we have the most important day ”.

And the Estonian is right, because with five riders separated by less than eight seconds, and facing a day with 9 stages and 151 timed kilometers, this was an aperitif. But if it has served so that the man who can proclaim himself champion, Sebastien Ogier, and the one who wants to try to stop him, Thierry Neuville, fell from the head. The French and the Belgian are already more than half a minute after passing without pain or glory on this first day.

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Pepe López is living in his flesh the difficulty of the Finnish stages and after the first stage he remains in the race, but now far from the top five in his category, WRC3.

Classification

1. Breen-Nagle (Irl / Hyundai), 35m 53.8s

2. Tanak.Harveoja (Est / Hyundai), at 2.8

3. Evans-Martin (Gbr / Toyota), to 6.1

4. Lappi-Ferm (Fin / Toyota), at 6.7

5. Rovanpera-Halttunen (Fin / Toyota), at 7.9

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