Rally Turkije 2008 - 13 t/m 15
De stand na dag 3:
Ford's Turkish delight as Hirvonen and Latvala
seal 1-2 finish.
Master tactics paid dividends for BP Ford World
Rally Team as it claimed a 1-2 finish on a thrilling Rally of Turkey
today. Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen claimed their second win of the
FIA World Rally Championship season in a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car
to move back into the lead of the drivers standings by three points.
Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila were just 7.9sec behind
in another Focus RS as Ford extended its lead in the manufacturers'
series to nine points.
The maximum points haul enabled Ford to create
rallying history by scoring points on 100 consecutive rallies, a feat
never achieved since the WRC was launched in 1973.
After dominating Friday's opening leg to hold first and second, Hirvonen
and Latvala deliberately eased their pace in the final few metres to
drop down the leaderboard to gain better road conditions yesterday. A
lower start position meant they avoided the huge disadvantage of being
first and second on roads covered by slippery loose gravel. Instead,
they benefited from the cleaning process of the cars ahead, who swept
stones from the surface to leave a cleaner and faster line on which to
Ford's Finns rocketed back to first and second yesterday morning and
attacked hard to build as big a lead as possible over championship rival
Sébastien Loeb, who swept the roads, in third. Hirvonen and Latvala had
the unwanted 'cleaning' role today, but the buffer was big enough to
hold off a determined charge from Loeb during the final 31.03km speed
test to claim the team's second 1-2 of the season.
This eighth round of the season was based in Kemer, a bustling holiday
resort on Turkey's southern coast. Drivers tackled 19 special stages
covering 360.12km in the Anatolian mountains which tower above the town.
Air temperatures topped 34ºC while the thermometer reached 48ºC on the
rocky gravel roads, which combined to provide a tough test for cars and
Pirelli's Scorpion tyres.
A delighted Hirvonen described the weekend as 'amazing'. "I promised
Malcolm Wilson I would lead the championship going into my home rally in
Finland next month and I am. It was an incredibly hard weekend for
drivers, cars and tyres and a great battle with Jari-Matti, which I'm so
happy to win. It was the right moment for a win because we struggled on
the last round in Greece and this is perfect timing. It feels very
special to beat a four-time world champion in a straight fight," he said.
"Our tactics worked so well and I didn't panic this morning when I was
first on the road and had to sweep the stages. This is my best result
because it was such a big team effort. I was so nervous and drove so
carefully in the final stage to preserve my tyres. It looks like it will
be an exciting championship battle in the second half of the season. Now
I just want to go home and see my sons," said 27-year-old Hirvonen, who
felt ill throughout the rally and has been unable to eat.
Latvala was happy with second after losing almost a minute with two
opening day punctures. "I came here wanting a top three finish so I'm
pleased I was able to fight for victory. I lacked experience of these
roads but that wasn't as big a disadvantage as I thought. We played good
tactics and it was a big risk, but a good decision. I've learned to keep
my driving tidy. I was kind on my tyres for the first half of the final
stage and that paid off. This has given a major boost to my confidence,"
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson collected the Abu Dhabi
Spirit of the Rally Award on behalf of the team and presented it to Ford
of Europe chairman Lewis Booth, a keen spectator here during the
weekend. "Tactics won in the end and what our two young drivers did this
weekend was nothing short of special. It was a brave decision to drop
time on Friday but it proved the right one. I'm proud of the drivers and
the team and it's a great way to end the first half of the season. It
was the drive of Mikko's life and it's fantastic to lead both series
going into the mid-season break. Days don't get much better than this,"
Ford of Europe's motorsport director Mark Deans added: "The consistency
required in achieving 100 consecutive points finishes is remarkable as
the WRC is the toughest competition in motorsport for production-based
cars. It demanded an outstanding blend of speed, strength and
reliability from the Focus RS World Rally Car as well as some sterling
performances from the drivers behind the wheel. It was a perfect weekend
for the team and a great weekend for Ford, with six Focus cars in the
News from our Rivals
Sébastien Loeb (Citroen) took third but slipped to second in the drivers'
standings with team-mate Dani Sordo claiming fourth. Sordo moved ahead
of Stobart driver Henning Solberg (Ford) on the opening stage and the
gap between the pair was just 8.1sec at the finish. Petter Solberg (Subaru)
rounded off the top six ahead of Stobart driver Matthew Wilson (Ford).
Ninth and 10th for Munchi's drivers Federico Villagra and Barry Clark (both
Ford) was enough for the final manufacturers' points.
The championship pauses for a summer break and returns with Rally
Finland, one of the year's classic events, on 31 July - 3 August. The
gravel rally is based in Jyväskylä.
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 4h42m07.1s
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS +7.9s
3. S Loeb/D Elena F Citroën C4 +25.7s
4. D Sordo/M Marti E Citroën C4 +2m25.6s
5. H Solberg/C Menkerud N Ford Focus RS +2m33.7s
6. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza +2m48.2s
7. M Wilson/S Martin GB Ford Focus RS +4m24.2s
8. C Rautenbach/D Senior ZIM Citroën C4 +7m46.7s
9. F Villagra/J Pérez Companc RA Ford Focus RS +9m34.1s
10. B Clark/P Nagle GB Ford Focus RS +14m48.8s
De stand na dag 2:
Hirvonen and Latvala capitalise on tactical
ploy to lead in Turkey
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team took full advantage of last night's
bold tactical manoeuvre to take control of the Rally of Turkey during
today's second leg. Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen sped over the
tricky gravel tracks in the south to lead this eighth round of the FIA
World Rally Championship by 16.1sec in their Ford Focus RS World Rally
Car. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila lie second in a
similar Focus RS with just one leg remaining of this four-day event.
After dominating the opening leg to hold first and second, both Ford
drivers deliberately eased their pace near the end of the final speed
test to ensure a better start position today. By dropping down the
leaderboard, Hirvonen and Latvala forced other drivers, including
championship rival Sébastien Loeb, to start ahead of them. As a result
they enjoyed the benefits of roads swept clear of slippery gravel by
those ahead, leaving a cleaner and faster line for their Focus RS cars
Both attacked hard to build a lead over Loeb which they will take into
tomorrow's shortest leg. Although Loeb will have the advantage of
cleaner roads tomorrow, Ford's Finns will hope that the advantage they
earned will see them through the final 67.56km of competition. Hirvonen
leads third-placed Loeb by 34.2sec with Latvala 18.1sec ahead of the
Today's action was again played out in the towering Anatolian mountains,
which provide a stunning backdrop to the holiday resort of Kemer where
the rally is based. Beaches and bikinis were far from the thoughts of
Hirvonen and Latvala though, who tackled another seven rough and rocky
speed tests covering 137.66km. Air temperatures touched 34ºC while the
mercury reached 48ºC on the ground, providing a tough challenge for
Pirelli's Scorpion tyres.
Hirvonen restarted in fifth and fastest time on the opening two special
stages ensured last night's move paid dividends as the 27-year-old
rocketed back to the top of the leaderboard. Latvala, third overnight,
had slightly worse conditions than his colleague but the 23-year-old
also capitalised on the tactical masterstroke to climb to second on the
opening loop. Both concentrated during the afternoon on building as big
a lead as possible over Loeb to take into the final leg. Hirvonen won
four and Latvala one of the seven stages.
"I was hoping for a bigger lead," said Hirvonen. "Thirty-four seconds
over Loeb is good but 40sec would have been comfortable. Both Jari-Matti
and Loeb will be tough to beat but I'm more worried about Jari-Matti. I
have to realistic. I came here to regain the championship lead and
that's my main aim for tomorrow. That's more important to me than
winning this rally.
"I'm first on the road tomorrow so all I can do is drive flat out and
hope for the best. It could be a great three-way battle. Starting first
isn't my strongest point but I spoke with Marcus Grönholm last week and
asked his advice about driving first on the road. He told me to remove
it from my mind and just get on with driving normally. Loeb did well in
that position and I need to learn how to do that, but today wasn't the
day for that," added Hirvonen.
Latvala is also relishing the battle. "Tomorrow will have lots of hard
driving, maximum concentration and plenty of effort to try to keep Loeb
behind. I'm both a team-mate and competitor with Mikko and I would like
to win this rally. I'm not here just to cruise but I must also remember
that I mustn't put the car off the road. Mikko will be first in the
start order so it won't be easy for him while Loeb will attack from
behind and will be very fast. The long stage will be tough for me as I
will only have Mikko's line to follow," he said.
"He has been driving so fast that I've not been able to ease off. I had
it on my mind all day that I didn't want to be first on the road
tomorrow. Because of the speed of Mikko and Loeb, I couldn't ease off
and there was no chance for me to use tactics tonight," added Latvala.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson was delighted with his
drivers. "Mikko and Jari-Matti have given themselves the best
opportunity of scoring a great result tomorrow. They have both done the
best job they could today and our position tonight emphasises that last
night's tactical decision was the right one. There are more than 60km of
stages tomorrow, including two runs over the longest test of the rally,
and Mikko and Jari-Matti must clean the roads so it will be a
fascinating day," he said.
News from our Rivals
Sébastien Loeb (Citroen) had the unwanted role of cleaning the stages
all day but after slipping to fourth this morning, he regained a place
this afternoon. Henning Solberg (Ford) holds fourth after spending the
day familiarising himself with a new gearbox. Dani Sordo (Citroen) is
fifth, despite dropping 40sec with a rear left puncture on this
morning's second stage. Petter Solberg (Subaru) rounds off the top six.
Stobart driver Gigi Galli (Ford) was fighting with Loeb for a top three
position but the Italian dropped nearly four minutes with boost valve
failure in the turbo and he is now eighth. There were just two major
retirements. Per-Gunnar Andersson (Suzuki) stopped in stage 11 with
electrical problems and team-mate Toni Gardemeister retired in the same
test with a broken radiator. Neither will restart tomorrow.
The final day is the shortest of the event but no less tough than the
previous two. After leaving Kemer at 08.30, drivers tackle just three
stages covering 67.56km in the same area as today. However, two of those
tests are the 31.03km Olympos, the longest of the rally. The finish is
in Kemer at 14.50.
Day 2 Leaderboard
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 3h47m37.8s
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS +16.2s
3. S Loeb/D Elena F Citroën C4 +34.3s
4. H Solberg/C Menkerud N Ford Focus RS +2m08.5s
5. D Sordo/M Marti E Citroën C4 +2m15.1s
6. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza +2m33.7s
7. M Wilson/S Martin GB Ford Focus RS +3m41.2s
8. G Galli/G Bernacchini I Ford Focus RS +5m20.1s
9. C Rautenbach/D Senior ZIM Citroën C4 +6m08.6s
10. F Villagra/J Pérez Companc RA Ford Focus RS +7m43.8s
De stand na dag 1:
Ford drivers play tactical mastercard after
dominating in Turkey
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team controlled today's opening leg of the
Rally of Turkey with a masterful blend of speed and strategy. Mikko
Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen and team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila held the top two positions in Ford Focus RS World Rally Cars
throughout a tough day's driving in the south of the country. Both then
deliberately eased their pace in the final few metres to drop down the
leaderboard to earn a more favourable start position tomorrow.
Hirvonen, who led for most of the day, dropped to fifth while Latvala
lies third. Each will be handed those positions in the start order
tomorrow and so avoid the huge disadvantage of being first and second
over roads covered by slippery loose gravel. They will benefit from the
cleaning process of the cars ahead, who will sweep the stones from the
surface to leave a clearer and faster line from which Hirvonen and
Latvala hope to benefit.
This eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship roared into action
in Antalya last night with a show speed test in the grounds of the
university. The competition began for real today when drivers tackled
eight more special stages on demanding gravel roads in the Anatolian
mountains, which tower above the rally base in the holiday resort of
Kemer, on the edge of the Mediterranean. They faced 154.90km of
competition in total, and while conditions in the mountains were cooler,
shade temperatures in Kemer touched a roasting 32ºC.
Hirvonen was second in the start order and built a 6.9sec lead over
Latvala on the opening loop of three stages. Although Latvala moved
ahead briefly during the second loop, Hirvonen moved back into top spot
and the 27-year-old led his colleague by 2.0sec going into the final
22.40km test. As soon as championship rival Sébastien Loeb, running
first in the start order, reached the finish, the team advised Hirvonen
of the time in which he needed to complete the stage so as to drop
behind the Frenchman on the leaderboard.
The Finn slowed just before the finish line and watched almost 20sec
pass before completing the test. Four drivers moved ahead of him, to
give Hirvonen a perfect position from which to attack tomorrow.
"It's a risk to do this because we haven't won anything yet and there
are only two stages for Loeb to clean tomorrow, but these are better
circumstances for me than being first on the road," he said. "If I had
been leading tomorrow, I don't think I would have been able to keep him
behind me because my 14sec advantage wouldn't have been enough. The plan
now is to attack hard and build a big enough lead to take into the final
day. I'm sure Loeb will fight hard, but I feel confident.
"He drove well in his start position and there's a lot for me to learn
from him today. Even though my driving style is more sideways than his,
there was still a cleaner line for me to follow. I was able to both
drive quickly and control the situation when I needed to tonight. My
only problem was dust in the car. About 7km from the end of the third
stage there was a large impact under the car and it quickly filled with
The impact made a hole under the floor behind Jarmo's seat and it was
hard to see. We needed to block it up because it was like a sandstorm!"
After lying fourth overnight, Latvala punctured a front right tyre on
the opening stage to lose 30sec and slip to 14th. However, he set a
stunning fastest time in the next Myra test, more than 15sec quicker
than his closest rival, to climb to third and amazingly took second on
the next stage. "I hit a sharp loose rock about 12km after the start and
the tyre went down immediately," said Latvala. "There are many loose
rocks and it's important to leave a safety margin in the bends, but I
slid wide coming over a crest into a right corner and clipped the rock,"
Latvala blitzed the Myra stage for a second time this afternoon to take
the lead but another front right puncture in the following test cost
15sec and allowed Hirvonen back in front. The 23-year-old Finn copied
Hirvonen's tactics on the final stage to drop from second to third, just
1.1sec behind Loeb. "The team strategy was to not be first in the order
tomorrow. It's not easy there in these conditions, I don't like it and I
didn't want to be there. You need experience to perform that role well
and I don't have that. The plan was to be in front of Mikko and I feel
very satisfied tonight," he said.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson reflected on a successful
opening day. "It was a superb performance from the team. Both drivers
drove brilliantly to enable us to put a strategy into place which they
executed to perfection. We now have a great start position for both
drivers," he said.
News from our Rivals
Sébastien Loeb (Citroen) set two fastest times en route to an unwanted
lead, just 1.0sec ahead of Henning Solberg (Ford). Behind Latvala is
Stobart driver Gigi Galli (Ford), the Italian also slowing on the final
stage to gain a better position. He won three stages. Petter Solberg
(Subaru) holds sixth despite broken front right suspension this
afternoon. Dani Sordo (Citroen) was fifth until a rear left puncture and
suspension damage on stage seven cost nearly a minute and he is eighth.
Urmo Aava (Citroen) was fastest on today's opening stage but retired
after damaging his car's suspension on the next test while Chris
Atkinson (Subaru) retired from ninth this afternoon with broken front
The second day revisits the same territory in the maze of roads that
zig-zag through the Anatolian mountains. After restarting at 08.30,
drivers face seven stages covering 137.66km before returning to Kemer
for the final overnight halt at 20.59. The last test is a second pass
over the super special stage at Antalya's Akdeniz University.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 2hr 02min 35.2sec
2. H Solberg/C Menkerud NOR Ford Focus RS 2hr 02min 36.2sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 02min 36.3sec
4. G Galli/G Bernacchini ITA Ford Focus RS 2hr 02min 37.4sec
5. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 02min 42.1sec
6. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Subaru Impreza 2hr 03min 24.3sec
7. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 2hr 03min 41.1sec
8. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 2hr 03min 42.0sec
9. T Gardemeister/T Tuominen FIN Suzuki SX4 2hr 05min 02.3sec
10 C Rautenbach/D Senior ZIM Citroen C4 2hr 05min 25.2sec
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