/ Motorsport

Jari-Matti Latvala leads on home turf

Updated: Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 11:02 | Comments

Jari-Matti Latvala leads his home rally in Finland
Jari-Matti Latvala leads his home rally in Finland

Home favourite Jari-Matti Latvala retained his lead of the Neste Oil Rally Finland but saw it dramatically cut on Saturday as his Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier finished just 3.4 seconds adrift.

Latvala began the day with a 19.7-second advantage at the top and extended it to 31.1 seconds after taking five wins from six stages, but he then hit a hole on SS20, breaking the front right brake caliper on his Polo R.

France's Ogier took advantage, winning that stage and the final three of the day as well while Latvala drove with just three brakes, to set up a thrilling sprint to the finish on Sunday.

The Citroen of Dungannon’s Kris Meeke is 32 seconds off the pace in third, while Waterford’s Craig Breen is in ninth place.    

Meeke told the assembled press: Kris Meeke: “I am very pleased to be in third place, just thirty seconds behind the leaders after three days’ racing. It’s fantastic.

"We have managed to maintain really good pace since the start of the rally. Now we have to make sure we get the result. And if anything happens up ahead, we’re ideally placed to take advantage”. 

Race leader Latvala said: "I had to hold o.

"I've worked so hard and I didn't come here to lose this rally.

"We'll get the car fixed in service and tomorrow we're in the fight for victory.

"I don't care so much about the world championship right now, this is about Rally Finland."

Ogier is currently overall leader in the World Rally Championship on 166 points, while second-placed Latvala has 116.

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