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Rallying-Breen leads Hyundai team mate Tanak after first leg in Finland

Hyundai's Craig Breen led team mate Ott Tanak by 2.8 seconds after Friday's opening leg of Rally Finland, with championship leader Sebastien Ogier in seventh place for Toyota.

Irish driver Breen overturned a 1.5 second deficit and seized the lead from the Estonian on the final night-time Oittila stage through the forest over gravel roads near Jyvaskyla.

The pair each won two of the day's six stages, with Toyota's Takamoto Katsuta fastest in the 2.31km opener and his Welsh team mate Elfyn Evans quickest on stage six to climb from fifth to third overall, 6.1 seconds off the pace.

"We've had an amazing day and I enjoyed every second of it," said Breen after the event's first night stage since 1994.

"I think everyone is going to find a little something extra tomorrow so we’ll try to take any opportunity that comes our way."

Tanak is chasing a hat-trick of wins in Finland after victories in 2018 and 2019. The event was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday's action features four morning stages, repeated in the afternoon with an extra 2.31km test. More than half of the rally's entire distance will be covered in a single day, with the finish on Sunday.

France's seven times world champion Ogier leads Evans by 44 points in the standings with two rounds remaining after Finland.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters

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