WRC: Kris Meeke finishes eighth in Rally Finland

Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in action during the second day of the WRC Finland
Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in action during the second day of the WRC's Finland meeting

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke has finished eighth on his World Rally Championship return in Finland.

The Dungannon driver, who was dropped by Citroen for Rally Poland, had several setbacks during the Finnish event which he won in 2016.

On Saturday's final stage, Meeke's car struck a rock, causing a puncture and damage to the front bodywork.

Finn Esapekka Lappi claimed his maiden WRC win, with Elfyn Evans of Wales in second and Juho Hanninen third.

Championship leader Sebastian Ogier of France retired from the event, with the M-Sport driver breaking his suspension over a jump, while Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala led on Saturday before being forced to retire with mechanical issues.

Ireland's Craig Breen was fifth his Citroen ,finishing one minute and 22 seconds behind winner Lappi.

"I really struggled this weekend," said Meeke, 38, who had also lost time on Friday after clipping a rock.

"You have to come here with buckets of confidence and it can quickly unravel. We have a bit of work to do."

After missing the Polish WRC round, Meeke's aim was to stay out of trouble on the tricky Finnish forest stages.

Trips off the road in Monte Carlo, Sweden, Portugal, Argentina and Italy, along with engine failure while leading in Corsica, ruined Meeke's hopes of a title challenge despite a dramatic victory in Mexico.

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