Home win for Latvala on Rally Finland

Jari-Matti Latvala claimed a thrilling first home victory at the country's FIA World Rally Championship encounter for four years after dominating most of the four-day Neste Oil Rally Finland but a brake problem yesterday evening threw his win into doubt. However, he held off a determined charge from Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier to win by 3.6sec.

Latvala had won 13 of the opening 19 stages to build a 31sec lead over the first three days but broke the front right brake caliper on his Polo R when he hit a large hole. Ogier, who had earlier conceded victory, seized his chance and slashed the margin to under four seconds.

But with the Finn's car restored to health today, Ogier had to settle for second. The Frenchman gained maximum bonus points by winning the live TV Power Stage and heads Latvala by 44 points in the title battle with five rounds remaining.

To the great relief of his many UK fans, Kris Meeke drove perhaps the best rally of his career to take third in a Citroen DS3. It was the third podium of the season for the Northern Irishman.

Andreas Mikkelsen retained third in the championship by finishing fourth in another Polo R but the Norwegian was more than a minute adrift of Meeke. Mikko Hirvonen finished fifth in a Fiesta RS after a frustrating weekend for the former winner.

Power steering problems today deprived Kiwi Hayden Paddon of sixth. He slipped behind both Hyundai team-mate Juho Hänninen, who bounced back from a second day roll, and Ford driver Elfyn Evans. Henning Solberg and Karl Kruuda completed the leader board.

3rd August, 2014