Elfyn Evans showed a strong intent to fight for the Secto-Rally Finland victory with a dominant performance on Saturday.
The Toyota Gazoo racing driver proved he was on mission taking advantage of the wet stages which he preferred, sweeping seven stage wins of the eight stages on Saturday.
Evans would stretch his lead to 32.1seconds from his closer chaser Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.
The Welshman is 55 points behind team-mate Kalle Rovanpera. A win this weekend will close the gap on Kalle.
“Obviously it is a good position to be in. Of course there are still more stages to come tomorrow. The focus will be on that now and we will try to keep doing the same,” said Evans.
Hyundai’s Neuville who suffered with a few car set-up challenges managed to maintain his position from the back runners. With small room to fight for the victory, Neuville will have to focus on securing the second position to elevate his title chases.
The fight for the third was between Toyota Gazoo’s Takamota Katsuta and Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen.
Katsuta spun and awarded the position to Suninen in Stage 12. He however charged up in the subsequent stages to reclaim the position and with that winning the final stage of the day. Only 6.2seconds separate the two drivers.
Jari-Matti Latvala completes the top five while Oliver Solberg standing in sixth followed by Sami Pajari who reclaimed the WRC2 category lead after the earlier leader Jari Huttunen retired with mechanical issues.