Just two final stages covering approx 45km were all that remained on the final leg of the Arctic Rally Finland (Round 2 of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championships), and Estonian Ott Tanäk was on course to be written into the World Rally history books.
With an overnight temperature drop and some fresh snow, the conditions on the 28km Aittajärvi stage were ideal for this final high-speed blast on the snow and ice.
As the sun rose over a picturesque Arctic Circle, the crews faced the main bulk of the rally, with 144km spread over 6 stages (3 stages repeated in two loops). Leg 2 of this second round of the FIA World Rally Championships was the longest of this short 10 stage event but would deliver plenty of moments and drama for some.
Overnight Rally leader, Ott Tänak entered the day with a 16.2 seconds lead over his fellow Hyundai team-mate Craig Breen. Whilst his Championship rival, Sébastien Ogier who battled with his road position on the first two stages of the event on the opening day would continued to struggle.
For the second round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championships, we have ventured far North into the Arctic Circle for the first time in its 49 year history. The Rovaniemi based Arctic Rally event in the North of Finland has come to rescue in place of the fallen Swedish rally and has created much excitement amongst World Rally fans, despite being a non-spectator event, like Round 1 the Monte Carlo was.