Jari-Matti Latvala clinched his second victory of the 2015 World Rally Championship (WRC) season and led Volkswagen's 1-2 finish at Rally Finland.
Latvala took the lead midway through Friday after a grueling showdown with teammate Sebastien Ogier and Citroen's Kris Meeke. The Finn finished 13.7 seconds ahead of Ogier and registered a new record for the fastest average speed in a WRC event. Latvala yielded an average speed of 125.44 km/h breaking the record of 122.89 km/h set by Sebastien Loeb three years ago.
After a disappointing start to the 2015 WRC season, Latvala achieved his strongest performance of the year.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am. This win means all the more to me after all the ups and downs this season,” said Latvala.
Ogier wasn't able to keep up with Latvala despite clinching the maximum three bonus points by winning the final live TV Power Stage. However, Ogier extended his championship lead to 89 points and could possibly seal his third title at the ADAC Rally Deutschland later this month.
Meeke tried his best to keep up with the Volkswagen drivers. The Citroen driver even led on Friday after suffering from a transmission issue which dropped him to 18th place.
As a result, Meeke's teammate Mads Østberg was promoted to third and finished 1 minute 23.1 seconds behind Ogier. This is Østberg third podium finish of the season.
Finishing in fourth was Hyundai's Thierry Neuville who managed to bounce back from a crashed during the warm-up stage.
M-Sport's Ott Tänak finished in fifth who recovered during the race after his Ford Fiesta RS clipped a rock. Juho Hänninen took the sixth spot in another Ford Fiesta RS.
Jipocar's martin Prokop finished ahead of Skoda's Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand. Completing the top ten was Lorenzo Bertelli who secured his first point of the season.
The ninth leg of the FIA World Rally Championship will take place in August 20 to 23 in Germany.