Hyundai’s Ott Tänak starts as the top driver for the last driving day of the Finnish World Rally Championship.

    Ott Tänak has performed brilliant performances on the rally tracks of central Finland. PDO

    Ott Tänak beat Toyota’s Finnish drivers by tenths of a second in Saturday’s special tests Esapekka Lapland and Kalle Rovanperää against.

    Lapland fell out of the race for victory in the afternoon run, when a stone accidentally hit the windshield of a competitor from Pieksämäki. Lappi had to slow down in the closing stages on Saturday, because the cracked windshield limited visibility from behind the wheel.

    In Saturday’s second run, Rovanperä forged four bottom times (one shared with Tänak), but Tänak arrived at the evening service with an 8.4 lead ahead of the World Series leading Finn.

    – This has by no means been my best driving performance, but still we have tried hard. I can be very satisfied with today and the fact that the Toyotas have stayed behind. It is not an easy task, Tänak said.

    Tänak had already said before the Finland World Cup Rally that challenging the Toyota drivers in Finland is difficult with the Hyundai racer. Despite this, the pace has been on point, although according to the Estonian, the car does not fit the glove perfectly.

    – If the situation were normal, I would drive a little differently, but that is not possible. We have to attack more than usual and that’s how times will come, Tänak said.

    Even today, the lead of 8.4 seconds doesn’t suddenly seem big, but in the fast gravel rally of Central Finland it is difficult to catch up. Only 44 special test kilometers will be driven on Sunday, so Rovanperä should reach the Hyundai driver by an average of 0.2 seconds per kilometer. It’s alot.

    – It’s been hard for Kalle and tomorrow will be a tough day, Tänak said.

    A media game?

    Rovanperä and his teammate Lappi said earlier during the race weekend that Tänak was just playing a media game when he claimed that Hyundai was clearly at the bottom against Toyota in the Finnish World Rally Championship. Tänak responded to the Finns’ claims in the Saturday evening service.

    We definitely play the media game. We recently lost in Estonia by only two minutes (to Rovanpera), so we definitely played our game there too, Tänak grinned.