This is only the second time Jukojärvi has been run in this direction. Known for its countless junctions, it’s quite different to the traditional Finnish stage.World champion Sébastien Ogier regained second place in Neste Oil Rally Finland after completing Jukojärvi 4.0sec faster than Kris Meeke.
Meeke relegated Ogier to third yesterday afternoon as the Frenchman struggled on the slippery loose gravel. However, more even conditions this morning allowed Ogier to climb back ahead of the Northern Irishman.
“It was a good run, better than the first stage,” said Ogier, who missed a junction in the previous test. “I had good fun and I’ll try to continue like that on the next stages.”
Meeke admitted to a degree of caution after hitting a stone on the driving line with the front right wheel of his Citroen DS3. “I thought it was a puncture, but I think the stone caught the rim and there was a vibration,” he said.
Jari-Matti Latvala further extended his lead, despite running wide. “I missed the optimum line, but it made me more focused after that. Sometimes you need to wake up your mind,” said the Volkswagen Polo R pilot who now leads by 24.9sec.
Two mistakes cost Hayden Paddon a handful of seconds “We had two half spins in the middle of the stage, about 1km apart. Both times we went onto the grass and had to go down to first gear. The roads are a bit different today and I’m struggling to get the car to turn in a little bit,” said the Hyundai i20 driver.