If you aren’t first, you’re last – as Ricky Bobby said once. Ott Tanak remembered it very well, when Kalle Rovanperä won Rally Estonia 2022 and won all the ovations. While Ott Tanak came in second at home. Today, it came the time for Ott Tanak’s return the favour to Rovanperä’s homeland on Rally Finland 2022.
Each rally round of the FIA World Rally Championship has its own special feel for its participants. However, to win a rally at home is a matter of honor in front of thousands of fans. That is what race fans in Estonia waited for from their national star, Ott Tanak, but in vain.
Of course, people didn’t love Tanak less. Moreover, Kalle Rovanperä also has many fans in Estonia, but was still less than in his home in Finland. Last one was the most ideal place to fight back, as the Estonian rally driver hurried to find out. However, that wasn’t an easy win.
Heroes of Sector Rally Finland 2022
Oliver Solberg made us cry.
Thursday started cheerfully. Evenings’ SS1 predicted that Sector Rally Finland would be a simple task. However, it was a trick. On the SS7 Hyundai driver Oliver Solberg was just 300 meters from the start of the special stage. However, he did not keep the car on the track and rolled over. His performance had to end there.
M-Sport Ford driver Adrien Fourmaux was that one who saw the drama with his eyes, as he came second to Solberg. He was unlucky – commented Fourmaux. In interviews with the press, Solberg was just broken and so frustrated that tears were already streaming from his eyes. It The video was heartbreaking when Oliver shared his path, and we started to cry.
We wished SS7 would be repeated, but rally racing is unpredictable, so the event continues.
Soon after the other Hyundai driver took the lead, Oliver Solberg finished the crucial battle. Ott Tanak immediately claimed the overall lead on Кally Finland 2022. As he progressed through the special stages, he showed his abilities to handle tricky looping roads through the forest.
Ott was like a cold-blooded driver, disciplined enough to fight when needed. The Secto Rally Finland was one of those cases. Due to safety concerns, Friday’s SS5 has been cancelled. Michelle Moton Already ordered to prepare for the next stages, while fans were notified about safety.
Elfyn Evans showed his gold hands
While two big players Ott Tanak and Rovanperä started the hunting for the green sectors, Toyota’s driver kept the pace that he had enough to save himself in top three. Yes, he thought, but his suspension didn’t work since it was damaged. But Elfyn Evans is not one of the timid ones. Both he and his co-driver, Scott Martin, managed to fix the system. Was it successful? Not enough as the car still lost time, but fourth place at the finish was still better than nothing! In rally Finland 2022, if there were another award for resourcefulness and ingenuity, Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin also deserved recognition.
Esapekka Lappi got used to surprises.
Esapekka Lappi was that one rally driver who also managed to take trouble like it was Friday the 13th during the entire weekend. Already on Saturday, a frisky stone jumped out from under the wheels and shot him right through the windshield. Uh, it’s lucky that everything worked out well, as it was aiming straight at the Esapekka. We slightly breathed in relief when the most hard part was over. A Toyota driver said he took third place confidently after taking third place on Saturday.
However, it was premature joy, as already on Sunday’s SS21, Esapekka Lappi came out of the left turn a little wider than he should have. He got into a ditch and overturned the car. Lappi managed to reach the finish line, losing 20.5 seconds.
However, the radiator was damaged! Despite that Lappi still retained the third position in the overall standings, his lag from Kalle Rovanperä was over a minute. Elfyn Evans, who was on the fourth line of the absolute, was 26.9 seconds behind him.
In order to advance to the final Power Stage, the crew had to put in a lot of effort on the road section. The windshield was covered with cracks, which worsened the view. The glass itself was ready to come off at the most inopportune moment. Therefore, Finn just spat on everything and tore off the windshield out of the way! The last 11 kilometres were unforgettable for the crew.
The dust, sand and wind were blown into the cabin with such force that the pace notes book threatened to fly out at the most inopportune moment. The car drove out of the line at times, but they did it! Esapekka Lappi finished third.
“I don’t know where to begin” – Molly breathed out at the finish, as did Lappi slightly. By analogy with Formula 1, the crew of Esapekka Lappi would be the drivers of the day on Rally Finland 2022!
Kalle vs Ott: eye to eye battle on Rally Finland.
When Ott Tanak realized he would have no other opportunities for the team, he began to make miracles on Secto Rally Finland 2022. He managed to lead by ten seconds all weekend, including Friday, Saturday and even Sunday. No matter how many times the press asked how he did it, Tanak was like a cold-blooded machine, commenting that he just wasn’t risking. That’s that.
Kalle Rovanperä is always using the same racing strategy. Despite never putting all his cards on the table, he always started the rounds at a very modest pace or kept the results low. But as the rally challenge nears its end, he becomes more and more frantic. One by one, Kalle Rovanperä set the best time on Sunday. Thus, the 21-year-old driver reduced his gap from the Estonian in the overall standings to 10 seconds. And that was enough.
Ott Tanak brought Hyundai its first victory at the Rally Finland 2022 and became the first driver, after Kalle Rovanperä, of course, who won more than one stage of the World Championship 2022 season. The Estonian driver also enhancing his personal achievements with his third victory in the summer rally. Tim spent the final special stage without excessive heroism, settling for a fourth place finish and two extra points for the power stage.
Kalle Rovanperä had the best time on the special stage. The championship leader won back a little more than three seconds from Tanak, thereby reducing his gap in the overall standings to 6.8 seconds. He finished the home rally in second place.
Toyota driver Takamoto Katsuta became the last representatives of factory Rally1 in the top ten following the rally in Finland with Gus Greensmith and debutant Rally1 Jari Huttunen. He finished in sixth, seventh and tenth places, respectively. A Japanese driver jumped for 59 metres on the Power Stage!
The Belgian Ardeca Ypres Rally will be the next stop in the World Championships on 18-21 August. The home rally for current Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville. Furthermore, that will be another rally challenge in which Sebastien Loeb will compete, and perhaps his last in the FIA World Rally Championship 2022 season.