Sebastien Ogier claimed his first Rally Finland victory by a comfortable margin, while Thierry Neuville won an amazing battle for second. Ogier had taken control of the rally on Friday afternoon, when he pulled away from what had started off as a super-close battle involving Ogier, M-Sport drivers Neuville and Mads Ostberg, and Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen.
Ostberg and Neuville’s tussle was not settled until the penultimate stage when Ostberg spun while avoiding a rock, finally giving Neuville some breathing space. Neuville then celebrated his second place with the fastest time on the power stage.
Hirvonen was top Finn in fourth, but was overshadowed by returnee Kris Meeke who was rapid from the outset. Meeke was set for fifth, only to crash out with one stage to go. That incident and a late retirement for Jarkko Nikara – who was up to sixth – brought Dani Sordo into the top six.
Novikov recovered from the crash that ended with him rejoining in Meeke’s path to take seventh.