Best of the rest were Caig Breen and Scott Martin, but at least Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle got themselves home in the top ten, just don't expect a British or Irish World Rally Champion this year. Sebastien Ogier has been caught by Thierry Neuville and they share the Driver's Championship after 9 (of 13) rounds.
It was Lappi's fourth WRC outing and first World Championship victory with the Toyota Gazoo World Rally Team, which claimed two podiums as Juho Haninen finished third. As for team leader, Jari-Matti Latvala, he was leading the rally when the electrics failed in SS19.
If there was jubilation in the Toyota Gazoo camp, there was less to celebrate amongst the M-Sport squad with Elfyn and Daniel excelling themselves to score a magnificent 2nd place. They actually started the final day in fourth place behind Teemu Suninen and Juho Hänninen.
"Going into this morning, it was a very difficult situation. There was an element of wanting to push for the best result, but at the same time it was really important to secure good points for the team. It wasn’t an all-out attack, but it all worked out in the end. It’s not the win, but it’s still a strong weekend and we can be pleased with the job we have done this weekend.”
Holding second place Sébastien Ogier crashed out in the 4th test. He damaged the suspension of his Ford Fiesta WRC after a heavy landing and then ran wide near the end of the stage which pitched him into the into the trees just 700 mtrs from the Finish. Ott Tanak also lost out on the 4th stage when the Fiesta clipped a rock damaging the wheel and puncturing a tyre which cost them 90 seconds.
Craig Breen and Scott Martin redeemed some honour for Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT finishing a fighting fifth in their C3. Kris Meeke hit a rock in SS4 which damaging the steering but he straightened the steering tie-rod and kept going. Despite that he set the fourth fastest time on Ouninpohja 2!
There was more drama to come on the final stage of Day 2 as Kris explained: "On the final stage, we picked up a puncture after hitting a stone. I wanted to keep pushing but the tyre exploded, causing some fairly serious-looking damage. But it wasn't all that serious."
In the Manufacturer's Championship, M-Sport still leads, but Hyundai is closing the gap while newcomer Toyota is ahead of Citroen, what a turnaround for the French team.
Tom Cave finished an excellent 3rd WRC2 and 15th in the Hyundai R5 and after his disastrous Polish outing Osian Pryce had a brand new DMACK Ford Fiesta R5 for Finland and rewarded his supporters with 18th o/a, 4th place in WRC2 and top Fiesta runner. Fergus Greensmith finished 32nd o/a and 8th WRC2 in a Fiesta.
1. Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:30:02.9
2. Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +36.0
3. Hänninen / Lindstrom (Toyota Yaris WRC) +36.3
4. Suninen / Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:01.5
5. Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +1:22.6
6. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:33.1
7. Tänak / Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:53.6
8. Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) +3:12.6
9. Sordo / Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:11.5
10. Østberg / Floene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4:21.2
DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Sébastien Ogier - 160 points
2. Thierry Neuville - 160 points
3. Ott Tänak - 119 points
4. Jari-Matti Latvala - 114 points
5. Dani Sordo - 84 points
6. Elfyn Evans - 79 points
7. Craig Breen - 53 points
8. Hayden Paddon - 51 points
9. Juho Hänninen - 46 points
10. Esapekka Lappi - 45 points
11. Kris Meeke - 31 points
MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. M-Sport WRT - 285 points
2. Hyundai Motorsport - 251 points
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT - 196 points
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT - 139 points