Kris Meeke Wins Finnish Gravel GP, First British To Win In Finland

Kris Meeke has won Neste Oil Rally Finland and creates history by becoming first British driver to win in the country of thousand lakes. Adding icing to the cake, fellow Citroen driver Craig Breen finished third after fierce battle with Ott Tanak, Breen was really emotional after the finish and remembered his former co-driver Gareth Roberts, who died in a crash in 2011. Finnish hot favorite Jari-Matti Latvala finished runner-up this time breaking his home win streak.


Kris Meeke who already had a comfortable lead after Friday, took a big step towards victory by winning the mighty Ouninpohja stage and that too by 13.4 seconds. After the Saturday morning loop he took it cool and calm and extended his lead to 41 seconds by end of Saturday. Finally today Meeke just focused on bringing the car home safely and eventually won by 29.1 seconds. After Saturdays morning loop Latavala was settled for runner-up spot. As he had no answer for Meeke's pace. The mistake he committed on special stage four might have cost him the victory. VW pilot finished second, bringing his home rally winning streak to an end. 

Irishman Craig Breen finished in an impressive third in his fourth WRC start. But it was not that easy for him. Ott Tanak was right behind him and was gaining ground on Breen. But Estonian pushed too hard and crashed out on Oittila test. But Breen could'nt ease off as Thierry Neuville was in a catching distance. but Breen was fastest in special stage 23 and finally finished just 4.6 seconds ahead of Neuville. Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville finished fourth and won power stage as well. His team mate Hayden Paddon was fifth just 2.3 seconds behind Neuville. M-Sport driver Mads Ostberg once again was not up to the task and finished in sixth. Andreas Mikkelsen suffered from his road position and could only manage seventh. Leading WRC 2 driver Finn Esapekka Lappi finished in eight place. Kevin Abbring and Teemu Suninen rounded off the top ten finishers.

WRC 2 victory went to Finnish young talent Esapekka Lappi. Another Finn Teemu Suninen finished second in his Fabia R5. Elfyn Evans was in third two minutes away from leader. JWRC victory went to Norwegian driver Ole Christian Veiby in his Citroen DS3 R3T Max. Max Vatanen took victory in Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in his Ford Fiesta R2.

                                 Overall Final Classification
Pos.No.
Driver / Co-driver
Vehicle
Pos.SS time
Penalty
Total timeDiff.Leader
Diff.Prev.
17
GBR

1
Meeke Kris / Nagle Paul 
Citroën DS3 WRC 
RC1
1
02:38:05.802:38:05.800:00:00.0
00:00:00.0
22
FIN

2
Latvala J. / Anttila Miikka 
Volkswagen Polo R WRC 
RC1
2
02:38:34.902:38:34.900:00:29.1
00:00:29.1
38
IRL

3
Breen Craig / Martin Scott 
Citroën DS3 WRC 
RC1
3
02:39:47.102:39:47.100:01:41.3
00:01:12.2
43
BEL

4
Neuville T. / Gilsoul Nicolas 
Hyundai i20 WRC 
RC1
4
02:39:51.702:39:51.700:01:45.9
00:00:04.6
54
NZL

5
Paddon Hayden / Kennard John 
Hyundai i20 WRC 
RC1
5
02:39:54.002:39:54.000:01:48.2
00:00:02.3
65
NOR

6
Østberg Mads / Fløene Ola 
Ford Fiesta RS WRC 
RC1
6
02:40:10.402:40:10.400:02:04.6
00:00:16.4
79
NOR

7
Mikkelsen A. / Jæger Anders 
Volkswagen Polo R WRC 
RC1
7
02:40:28.202:40:28.200:02:22.4
00:00:17.8
835
FIN

8
Lappi Esapekka / Ferm Janne 
Škoda Fabia R5 
RC2
1
02:42:59.602:42:59.600:04:53.8
00:02:31.4
920
NLD

9
Abbring Kevin / Marshall S. 
Hyundai i20 WRC 
RC1
8
02:43:28.202:43:28.200:05:22.4
00:00:28.6
1032
FIN

10
Suninen Teemu / Markkula Mikko 
Škoda Fabia R5 
RC2
2
02:43:41.302:43:41.300:05:35.5
00:00:13.1

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