Belfast Telegraph

Kris Meeke is pushing hard for a top finish in Finland

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke overhauled World champion Sebastien Ogier to climb into second place at the end of the second leg of Rally Finland. The Dungannon driver fought a day-long duel with the dominant Volkswagen duo of Jari-Matti Latvala and Ogier before squeezing his Citroen in front of the Frenchman, who again leads this season's World series.

Meeke ended the day 1.6 seconds ahead of Ogier and 19 behind leader Latvala who is chasing his second victory on home ground.

"It has been a good day, a fantastic day really," said Meeke.

"To be in the mix with the VWs of Jari-Matti and Sebastien is great for me and for the team, but there is still a day and a half to go so I have to keep my focus."

The leading trio had pulled almost a minute clear of the pack which was headed by the third VW of Andreas Mikkelsen, Meeke's Citroen team-mate Mads Ostberg and the Ford of Mikko Hirvonen.

The fast Finnish forest stages claimed several victims on day two, including former F1 star Robert Kubica and Hyundai's Thierry Neuville. Juho Hanninen, the 2012 Circuit of Ireland winner, also crashed his Hyundai, but was able to continue.

Further back, Craig Breen made it up to 10th place in his privateer Ford Fiesta despite two punctures on day one, but Alastair Fisher suffered further problems after his Citroen was delayed on the first leg with gearbox trouble.

Meanwhile, Colin Turkington returns to British Touring Car Championship action at Snetteron tomorrow. The Portadown driver, champion in 2009, leads the series in his eBay Motors BMW.

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