Ogier hits early trouble in Finland

Ogier hits early trouble in Finland
By AutoSport

28/07/2017 at 08:52

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier has hit trouble early on the first full day of Rally Finland.

Ogier, who came into this week's event with his championship lead over Thierry Neuville down to 11 points, had complained of a throttle problem at the end of Friday's second stage Urria and fell from second to sixth.

His M-Sport Ford then came to a halt near the end of the following Jukojarvi stage, with television crews on the stage reporting that Ogier had taken a rear wheel off his Fiesta and gone off into the trees. Initial reports suggested the damage might have followed a heavy landing on a jump.

Ogier's team-mate Ott Tanak had led the rally's first three stages but ran wide and clouted a rock early on Jukojarvi.

He sustained a puncture and also suspected driveshaft damage, losing a minute and a half limping through the stage.

AUTOSPORT VIDEO: Rally Finland preview

Jari-Matti Latvala had already been closing in on Tanak, getting the gap down to 0.3 seconds by the end of Urria, and now leads the rally in a Toyota one-two ahead of Esapekka Lappi.

Hayden Paddon was third behind Tanak and Latvala before Jukojarvi but damaged his Hyundai's right rear suspension early on the stage and had to retire from the first leg.

While his title rival is out, Neuville has struggled for speed on the early Finnish stages and was only 12th after SS3 before rising to ninth with the problems ahead.

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Autosport Live's Rally Finland coverage kicks off with SS5 from 8am UK time