Evans leads Rally of Finland as title-chasing Ogier fifth

Jyväskylä (Finland) (AFP) –

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Elfyn Evans stormed into the lead of the Rally of Finland on Saturday as Sebastien Ogier, chasing an eighth world title, ended the day in fifth place.

Evans, behind the wheel of a Toyota, began the day in third place but swept four stages in the morning to take a firm grip on the event, widely regarded as the fastest on the circuit.

The Welsh flyer leads Hyundai's Ott Tanak, who took three stages in the afternoon, by 9.1sec.

That was enough for the Estonian to snatch second place from Irish teammate Craig Breen who is almost 20 seconds behind Evans.

Finland's Esapekka Lappi, in a private Toyota entry, is fourth with world champion Ogier, in another factory Toyota, at 1min 23.7sec off the pace.

Ogier was seventh at the start of the day but benefitted from the retirements of young Finnish teammate Kalle Rovanpera and Belgium's Thierry Neuville.

Four more stages will be raced on Sunday.