WRC: Arctic Rally Finland Day 1 Takeaways
A short day, but there is still plenty to talk about.
Tanak On Fire
WOW! If there was any doubt that Ott Tanak had lost any of his intensity or application, that has firmly been put to bed. Two mighty stages giving him a hugely impressive of advantage of 16.2 seconds over his teammate Craig Breen. Who himself was remarkably fast especially when considering he hasn’t been in the WRC since Estonia. But it was still Tanak who deserves the headlines with his stage wins offering us a huge sign of what his intentions are and what we should expect for the remainder of the rally. He certainly had favourable conditions with his road order position but he still had to make the most of it and by god did he ever.
Rovanpera Shows His Speed
If it wasn’t for one slight incident on the opening stage we could very well be talking about Kalle Rovanpera leading the Arctic rally overnight. As it stands however, he is in 3rd just over 4 seconds off 2nd and fastest of the first five on the road along with being well as fastest Toyota, we all had some expectations for Kalle this weekend and if today is anything to go by all of our optimism is looking verified. A win will certainly be a tough challenge, especially considering some of his rivals, but I still wouldn’t bet against it. Sitting in 3rd after day 1 he is still in contention despite being 20.4 seconds off the lead which would have been the objective for today.
Evans Gets One Over Ogier
We all knew Sebastien Ogier was going to struggle being first on the road and therefore acting a snowplough for the rest of the field. But I don’t think anyone quite expected the gap between seven time world champion and second place Monte man Elfyn Evans to be quite as comprehensive as it was. The Welshman has an advantage of over 17 seconds on his teammate and on the second stage was even quicker than Neuville and now sits in an impressive 5th, only just over 2 seconds off 4th, meanwhile, Ogier is lingering down in a disappointing 9th. All in all it was not a bad day for Evans and he has kept himself right in contention for a result come Sunday.