10/4/2018 11:59:48 PM

Finland's Lappi leads Wales Rally GB

Finland

London, United Kingdom: Finland's Esapekka Lappi headed a Toyota one-two on Thursday's opening day of the Wales Rally GB.

He was just 0.3 seconds quicker than compatriot Jari-Matti Latvala on the dusty 1.7km special stage at the Tir Prince trotting track in Abergele on the north coast of Wales.

World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville matched Latvala's time in his Hyundai i20 to tie for second, ahead of title rivals Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak.

Ogier was 0.4sec behind the Belgian in a Ford Fiesta, with Estonia's Tanak a further 0.2sec adrift in his Toyota Yaris.

It was a heartening end to what had threatened to be a difficult day for Tanak after he crashed in his first pass at the morning shakedown test in Clocaenog, after missing the breaking point on slippery gravel roads.  

Friday sees the race move to the north Wales forests, with the day's eight stages covering nearly 111km.

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