rallying call

'I've been enjoying it like a kid' - Tyrone native Meeke over the moon after Rally of Finland win

Craig Breen also got himself on the podium for the first time in what was a historic day for Irish motorsport.

TYRONE NATIVE KRIS Meeke won the Rally of Finland today, shattering the hopes of home favourite Jari-Matti Latvala.

The Dungannon man, in his Citroen DS 3, led almost throughout the four-day world championship classic to finish 29.1 seconds ahead of three-times winner Latvala in a VW Polo-R.

“This is the home of rally. I’ve been enjoying it like a kid. It’s exceptional. Great team effort,” Meeke, who had Kerryman Paul Nagle as his co-driver, said after the win.

Ireland’s Craig Breen, also in a Citroen, was 1min 41.3sec off the pace in third place, his first podium finish.

World championship leader Sebastien Ogier lost hope of victory after he went off the track early in the race.

He finished well down the field but still holds on to his overall championship lead.

Result: 1. Kris Meeke (GB/Citroen DS3) 2:38:05.8,2. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/Volkswagen Polo-R at 29.1sec,3. Craig Breen (IRL/Citroen DS3) 1:41.3, 4. Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai i20) 1:45.9, 5. Hayden Paddon (NZL/Hyundai i20) 1:48.2, 6. Mads Ostberg (NOR/Ford Fiesta RS) 2:04.6, 7. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR/VW Polo-R) 2:22.4, 8. Esapekka Lappi (FIN/Skoda Fabia R5) 4:53.8, 9. Kevin Abbring (NED/Hyundai i20) 5:22.4, 10. Teemu Suninen (FIN/Skoda Fabia R5) 5:35.5

© AFP, 2016

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