Victory in Lapland for Hyundai & Tanak

On then to round two of the world rally championship and the new for 2021 Lapland-based Artic Rally where Hyundai's Ott Tanak claimed a dominant victory to kickstart his 2021 World Rally Championship campaign, beating second placed Toyota sensation Kalle Rovanpera, who is now the youngest-ever leader by 4 points of what currently looks like an incredibly open world rally championship!

Third was Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, almost 20 seconds adrift with returning teammate Craig Breen a further 32 seconds behind in fourth, frustrated in his first WRC outing since last year's Rally Estonia, after being forced to replace his gearbox in order to cure an overnight oil leak. Elfyn Evans was fifth and Toyota Teammate Takamoto Katsuta sixth.

Points leader coming into the rally was Sebastien Ogier, who had battled an unfavorable road position throughout the event and crashed out at the flying finish of Saturday's final stage. Seb, finished way outside the top-ten - with nil poi!

Having failed to score in Monte Carlo, the 27 points that Tanak took away from the Arctic Rally boost him into fifth in the drivers' championship standings and helped halve Hyundai's deficit to Toyota in the manufacturers' points.

Poignantly, a minute silence was held before the prizegiving, in memory of 1983 Finnish world champion Hannu Mikkola who died Friday. The tribute was led by Hannu?s former co-driver, FIA president Jean Todt, joined by his former Audi team-mate, FIA Women in Motorsport president Michele Mouton. An F-18 Hornet from the Finnish Air Force flew past in an added tribute.

WRC Arctic Rally result
1 Ott Tanak/M.Jarveoja Hyundai 2h03m49.6s
2 Kalle Rovanpera/J.Halttunen Toyota 17.5s
3 Thierry Neuville/M.Wydaeghe Hyundai 19.8s
4 Craig Breen/P.Nagle Hyundai 52.6s
5 Elfyn Evans/S.Martin Toyota 1m01.5s
6 Takamoto Katsuta/D.Barritt Toyota 1m37.8s
7 Oliver Solberg/S.Marshall Hyundai 1m39.0s
8 Teemu Suninen/M.Markkula Ford 2m09.0s
9 Gus Greensmith/E.Edmondson Ford 3m39.4s
10 Esapekka Lappi/J.Ferm Volkswagen 6m07.0s

Drivers Championship after 2 rounds
1. Kalle Rovanpera 39
2. Thierry Neuville 35
3. Sebastien Ogier 31
4. Elfyn Evans 31
5. Ott Tanak 27
6. Craig Breen 16
7. Takamoto Katsuta 16
8. Dani Sordo 11
1. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT - 88
2. Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT - 77
3. M-Sport Ford - 24

1st March, 2021