JYVASKYLA, Finland: Ott Tanak powered to his third world rally championship win in the last four outings in Finland on Sunday (Aug 4) to tighten his grip in the race for the 2019 WRC drivers title.
Toyota’s Estonian driver followed up his success in the Rally of Finland last year by finishing 25.6sec clear of Esapekka Lappi in a Citroen.
Jari-Mati Latvala, who had led the event until puncturing his Toyota after hitting a rock on Saturday, took third a further 7.6sec behind.
Another Toyota driver, Kris Meeke, hit the same rock on the 14th special, forcing the Northern Irishman to retire with a broken suspension.
Tanak, who notched up his 200th career stage win on Sunday, timed quickest in the closing power stage to add an additional five bonus points to his championship tally.
He now heads the standings with 180 points, 22 clear of France’s multiple world champion Sebastien Ogier with Thierry Neuville a further three points adrift with five rallies remaining.
“I’m feeling really happy, it’s been a very good weekend,” beamed the 31-year-old.
Tanak, who is seeking his first world title, was adding Finland to his wins this year in Sweden, Chile and Portugal.
Hyundai remain in control of the manufacturers’ standings on 262 points with Toyota reducing the gap to 24 points ahead of the next rally in Germany at the end of the month.