Colin Clark’s 2023 Rally Finland driver ratings

The scores are in for round nine of the 2023 World Rally Championship


Rally Finland is always one of the highlights of the year. It’s a real treat for us mere mortals to watch the world’s best rally drivers tackle the world’s fastest rally stages.

But it doesn’t always work out for everybody, as we saw last weekend.

Here are Colin Clark’s driver ratings from Rally Finland 2023:


Elfyn Evans 10/10

Rally Finland result: 1st


It’s a very long time since we witnessed a performance as composed, as controlled and as dominant as this from Evans.

I’m not even going to give an iota of credence to those who say it was easy without Rovanperä and Tänak – they crashed, Evans kept his composure and drove a brilliantly disciplined rally that showed pace and poise.

Does this mean that Evans and the GR Yaris Rally1 have at long last gelled harmoniously into a championship winning partnership? I really do hope so, but for sure we’ll get a better understanding of how well that new harmonious relationship is working on the rough, tough, abrasive gravel of the Acropolis.

Make no mistake, this is a massive result for Evans and will do his confidence and self belief no end of good.

Kalle Rovanperä 5/10

Rally Finland result: DNF


Rovanperä was doing exactly the job we expected him to do for the first seven stages of the rally – and then he went and did something that no-one really saw coming.

Yep, this almost other worldly driving prodigy is actually human after all. Rovanperä made a mistake. A Rally Finland victory continues to elude Kalle.

Is the pressure of his home event proving too distracting? Well if it is, Rovanperä and Toyota might have to look at a different approach to next year’s event.

Takamoto Katsuta 8/10

Rally Finland result: 3rd


Without any question, one of Takamoto’s best performances. He showed real pace out there at times, winning stages and doing so with an assuredness and confidence that we’ve not really witnessed in these Rally1 generation cars.

What impressed me most though was his composure and discipline throughout the absorbing battle he was engaged in with Teemu Suninen until the very last moment of the rally.

Taka-san never panicked, never wavered from his plan and most importantly maintained his discipline to deliver maybe the best result of his career so far. We now need to see some consolidation of this level of performance and then perhaps Katsuta can push on and claim that maiden career victory.

Jari-Matti Latvala 9/10

Rally Finland result: 5th


Just an absolute joy and a pleasure to watch Jari-Matti and Juho Hänninen revelling in this one-off appearance in the GR Yaris Rally1.

The smiles and laughs were never far away, the pace steadily improved, the discipline was firm and Latvala’s fifth place finish was fully deserved.


Thierry Neuville 8/10

Rally Finland result: 2nd


Another really encouraging performance from Neuville and the Hyundai i20 N Rally1.

Ten years between podiums in Finland seems somewhat improbable , but that is perhaps an indication of just how much of a struggle finding the pace and performance on fast gravel has been over the years for Hyundai and Neuville.

Neuville’s inability to respond to Evans’ push on Friday shows there is still work to do but there’s no question progress continues to be made.

Esapeka Lappi 3/10

Rally Finland result: DNF


Even before a badly noted corner on SS5 saw Lappi crash out of the event, all seemed far from well in the #4 car.

Lappi has done a remarkable job both on the stages and in testing this year and there is no doubt that he came into this event with very high expectations indeed.

But from the opening stage on Friday morning Lappi seemed to know that he didn’t have the pace to win this one – and with that realization came frustration. Some emotions can be used positively in the car, but a frustrated driver is a distracted driver and there was a degree of inevitability about Lappi’s demise.

I suspect this is just a small blip though in what is shaping up to be Lappi’s best season at the top level.

Teemu Suninen 8/10

Rally Finland result: 4th

2023FINLAND _FD_ 202

Another quality drive from Suninen.

He seems more than a little disappointed not to have passed Katsuta to claim that last podium spot, but he really shouldn’t be disappointed with his performances over the last two events.

With very limited testing, Teemu has delivered more than the team could have expected. OK, we know he has pace on fast gravel, but to deliver in such controlled style, under such testing circumstances surely must put the Finn in pole position for more regular outings in the i20 N Rally1.

M-Sport Ford

Ott Tänak 2/10

Rally Finland result: DNF


Oh dear, after the disappointment of Estonia, this one was almost impossibly difficult to bear for Tänak and his enthusiastic army of supporters.

But make no mistake, this was a driver-induced retirement. Nibbling just a smidgen too much at a cut on a right hander, Tänak found that this rock vs sump guard battle was going to be won emphatically by the rock.

Nothing seems to be going right for Tänak just now, but maybe the summer break is exactly what’s needed to recharge the batteries, reset and go again for the final four rounds of the season.

Pierre-Louis Loubet 4/10

Rally Finland result: 45th

WRC - World Rally Championship 2023

Another early mistake from Loubet put paid to any chances he had of delivering a good result in Finland.

Trying to force the pace at this level rarely works and SS3 was anyway far too early in the event to doing that.

It was a really basic error and one that Loubet seemed a little embarrassed about.

To his credit Pierre-Louis did a very decent job opening the road on Saturday.