29-07 t/m 01-08-2010 - WRC Rally Finland
We zijn zo gewend aan het feit dat de Rally's
normaal gesproken op vrijdag, zaterdag en zondag verreden wordt, dat het
even aan onze aandacht is ontsnapt dat de WRC Rally Finland afwijkend
van de reguliere dagen is verreden. Dus hier het officiële persbericht
en einduitslag van M-Sport die uiteraard in feeststemming zijn na de
mooie overwinning van Jari-Matti Latvala.
Op naar WRC Rally Duitsland,
waar wij van Focusmania ook bij aanwezig zullen zijn om voor de laatste
keer die geweldige sfeer nog eens te proeven. Het geluid van de WRC
wagens gaat door merg en been, maar is overweldigend en niet te
beschrijven, zeker de WRC Focussen. Je moet het gewoon meemaken en dat
gaan we doen, daarom zullen we niet elk dag een update uitbrengen, deze
zal later in de week na de WRC Rally Duitsland online worden gezet.
Hopelijk met veel mooie foto's en filmpjes van dit spektakel.
Latvala enters record books with Rally Finland
victory for Ford
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila won a thrilling Rally Finland today to earn a place in the
history books. The Finns won this eighth round of the FIA World Rally
Championship for the first time by 10.1sec in a Ford Focus RS World
Rally Car, joining a long list of Finnish greats who have triumphed in
their home event.
Latvala and Anttila were mobbed by their fellow countrymen as they took
to the podium in Jyväskylä this evening. Twenty-five-year-old Latvala,
already the youngest driver to win a world rally, became the youngest
winner of Rally Finland since the WRC started in 1973. It was Ford's
second consecutive victory in the legendary event following the success
of Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen in 2009, and the manufacturer's
fourth win in five years.
After a short opening speed test on Thursday evening, organisers packed
18 more stages and 310.05km of action into just two long and demanding
days instead of the usual three, providing a blend of sprint and
endurance. The rally was fought out over dauntingly fast roller-coaster
forest roads in central Finland, and it lived up to its reputation as
the fastest in the championship with average speeds reaching 133.09kph.
The weather was as hot as the action on the stages. The rally began on a
day when the thermometers recorded Finland's highest-ever temperature of
37.2ºC. The heatwave gave way to thunderstorms which left much of
central Finland without electricity yesterday while many roads were
blocked by fallen trees, but the rally ran without interruption.
Latvala moved into the lead yesterday afternoon, building a 9.1sec
overnight advantage. He extended that to 22.5sec this morning before
road conditions turned against him. Overnight rain, which bound together
slippery surface gravel and provided more grip, died out and a stiff
breeze quickly dried the roads. Latvala was first in the start order and
faced the unwanted task of sweeping loose stones from the surface to
leave cleaner and faster conditions for those behind.
His lead dropped to 10.6sec with two tests remaining, but Latvala
remained unflustered in the face of huge pressure to record his fourth
WRC victory and second win of the 2010 season.
"It's amazing to win my home rally and it's something I have dreamed of
since I was a small boy," he said. "The first time I watched this rally
was in 1992 when I was seven and the only thing I could think about then
was that I would never be able to drive as fast as the stars I was
watching. In 2003 I drove this rally for the first time and still I
never thought I would win. To win in front of my home fans, in a country
where rallying means so much to everyone, is a dream.
"The team had some difficult times in the summer but both drivers led
this rally and I won. It's a hugely important victory for the team and
Ford. It was only during the final two stages that I really thought I
could do it. I've learned that if you relax and make no mistakes then
you can have a good rally. There have been so many people watching and
it was a fantastic atmosphere – this is the best rally in the world," he
Team-mates Hirvonen and Lehtinen retired from the lead yesterday morning
after crashing heavily following a jump, while the third car of Abu
Dhabi's Khalid Al Qassimi and Michael Orr also rolled into retirement
yesterday afternoon. Neither crew was injured.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson was delighted to oversee
victory in his favourite rally. "After a difficult few months, the team
has dug deep and bounced back to win the most celebrated rally in the
calendar. There has been so much effort and commitment from the entire
team in recent weeks and this is our reward. It was a stunning drive
from Jari-Matti. There was a lot of pressure on his young shoulders when
Mikko Hirvonen crashed out yesterday but he handled it superbly and
displayed great maturity in a difficult situation," he said.
Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn said: "There is no better
place for Ford to win a rally than Finland. It is one of motorsport's
classic events and to triumph here, after leading for virtually the
entire event, is a dream come true. Jari-Matti joins some of Ford's
great Finnish drivers who have won their home event, world champions
like Marcus Grönholm, Ari Vatanen and Hannu Mikkola. He faced intense
pressure here for two days but the mature way in which he handled it
shows how well he is progressing as one of the sport's rising stars."
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford's Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin finished sixth in
a Focus RS WRC, two places ahead of Finnish rally legend Juha Kankkunen
and Juha Repo. The four-time world champion returned to the sport for a
one-off guest appearance almost eight years after his last WRC event.
Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor crashed out yesterday in the team's third
The championship returns to asphalt next month when drivers tackle
vineyard tracks and military roads in Rallye Deutschland. The rally is
based in Trier on 19 - 22 August
Bron | M-Sport
Eindverslag van wrc.com:
Latvala flies to emotional Rally Finland
Jari-Matti Latvala has won Neste Oil Rally Finland, round eight of the
2010 FIA World Rally Championship. Co-driven by Miikka Anttila, Latvala
took the lead on stage seven and drove without error to land his second
win of the season.
The Finn, who breaks Markku Alen’s record as the youngest winner of the
high-speed gravel event, withstood late pressure from factory Citroen
pilot Sebastien Ogier to secure an emotional home victory.
“It’s a dream and I can’t even imagine it yet,” said the works Ford
Focus pilot. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a small
boy. The fans in Finland are fantastic and I’ve won in front of my home
spectators. When we did the second last stage it started to go in the
right direction and we were a little on the safe side. It’s amazing, a
big relief and a fantastic rally. Our team has done really hard work and
this victory is for the team.”
Ogier, competing in Finland for only the third time, was delighted with
his second place finish on his first event with the leading Citroen
squad. “It’s a fantastic weekend for me to finish second and better than
expected for sure,” said Ogier, who went fastest on the rally’s final
stage. “Jari-Matti was incredibly fast but it’s the perfect result for
Sebastien Loeb did his bid for a seventh world title the power of good
with third place in his C4. The French driver struggled on Friday
morning when the loss of his car’s front splitter caused a handling
imbalance. He was also slowed by running first on the road on day one.
“Third place is not what we prefer but I did not come here especially
for the win,” said Loeb. “It’s not my rally I know because it’s
difficult for me and third place for the championship is not so bad.”
Petter Solberg lost out on a podium finish by 4.7s and said he could not
have gone any faster in his privateer Citroen. “I tried very hard but
factory teams are factory teams,” said Solberg. “We have been fast but
we’re a small rally team doing the best we can.”
Spaniard Dani Sordo secured fifth overall on his first run with the
Citroen Junior Team. He said: “Fifth is not bad but I am not happy with
my performance. The car was good, not always perfect, but after a very
good test and the first stages there was no more from me. We need to be
better the next time.”
Matthew Wilson completed the top six in his Stobart M-Sport Focus,
despite a late charge by Mads Ostberg, who fought his way back up to
seventh in his ageing Subaru Impreza, following a delay on Friday when
he broke his car’s front-right wheel on a heavy landing. At the finish,
Ostberg said it had been his best ever rally.
Four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen finished eighth with Super 2000
World Rally Championship stars Juho Hanninen and P-G Andersson ninth and
Loeb continues to lead the 2010 FIA Drivers’ Championship standings,
with a new total of 166 points, while Ogier remains second on a total of
118. A maximum score today moves Latvala into third with 105 points
while Petter Solberg also moves up a spot into fourth with a total of 90
Bron | wrc.com
Eindverslag dag 1:
Latvala delights home fans by
leading Rally Finland for Ford:
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila lead Rally Finland for the BP Ford
Abu Dhabi World Rally Team after today's dramatic opening leg. The
Finnish duo delighted their home fans by winning three speed tests to
build a 9.1sec advantage in their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car.
Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen led the rally initially,
but the 2009 winners crashed heavily and although both escaped injury,
their car was severely damaged and will not restart tomorrow.
This eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship is based in its
traditional home of Jyväskylä, in central Finland. Organisers have taken
advantage of new-for-2010 rules to pack all the action into just two
long and demanding legs, instead of the usual three. The opening leg,
which began with a short speed test last night, comprised 147.27km of
competition on dauntingly fast, roller-coaster gravel roads to the west
and north-east of the host city.
The action was as hot as the temperatures, which reached an all-time
high in Finland of 37.2ºC yesterday. Although overnight thunderstorms
left a trail of devastation across the centre of the country, the rally
ran without interruption and the pace was blistering. Average speeds on
one afternoon special stage reached 133.09kph.
Latvala was third after last night's opening stage and quickly
established himself in second this morning following Hirvonen's crash.
His first stage win this afternoon promoted him to the top and he
gradually extended his advantage through the rest of the leg.
"It's a dream to be in this position," said Latvala. "When I arrived in
the service park tonight the grandstands were full and all the fans
cheered and applauded me. That gave me a real boost. It's too early to
think about winning though, I'm just concentrating on one stage at a
time. Mikko's retirement put more pressure on me, but it didn't change
my way of thinking. I saw his car and had to drive around it a little
because it was partly in the road.
"I hurt my back after a jump in Urria this
morning but I had some treatment from our physio before the second loop
and it feels fine now. I need a perfect day tomorrow. I want to find a
good balance with my driving and keep a cool head. The first two stages
are the most difficult of the rally but because they are so challenging,
I enjoy them." he said.
Hirvonen, lying second after last night's short opening speed test, was
fastest through both the 12.75km Urria and the 22.29km Jukojärvi special
stages this morning to build a 4.9sec lead in his Focus RS WRC. However,
the 29-year-old Finn crashed shortly after the midpoint during the
second pass through Urria.
"The section at which I crashed is my favourite corner on any stage,
anywhere in the world," said Hirvonen, whose accident spoiled his 30th
birthday celebrations tomorrow. "It happened at a fast right corner
which led into a jump. I landed after the jump in the perfect place on
the road but the car pulled left and started rolling. I was surprised
the landing pulled the car across the road so violently. It happened so
fast that I had no time to react.
The car rolled up the road five times and Hirvonen estimated his landing
speed was 140kph. He and Lehtinen went to hospital for precautionary
checks but were uninjured. "It was my biggest accident ever. I'm so
disappointed because this is my home town rally and I had the speed to
win. The car is too badly damaged to continue, but my young sons are
here and want to watch the rally cars, so I will spend the day
spectating with them," added Hirvonen.
Abu Dhabi's Khalid Al Qassimi and Michael Orr were ninth in the team's
other Focus RS WRC, before they rolled into retirement on the sixth
stage. "Finland is a tough rally. The terrain is rocky, there are
frequent crests, and the stages are some of the fastest in the WRC. It
was an exciting day up until this point and the roll was really
unfortunate. This is my fourth time competing in Finland, but the
conditions can catch out even the most experienced driver," said Al
Qassimi. The car was too badly damaged for the duo to restart tomorrow.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson reflected on a day of
mixed fortunes. "Jari-Matti had a brilliant day but it was a
disappointing end for Mikko. We made some small improvements to our car
during testing last week and it feels good to be back at front-running
pace again. The stages here are so fast that it's easy to make a mistake
so Jari-Matti must not relax for a single second tomorrow," he said.
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford's Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin are sixth in a
Focus RS WRC, the Britons enjoying a troublefree day apart from handling
difficulties this afternoon. Team-mates Juha Kankkunen and Juha Repo are
just one place behind, the four-time world champion driver competing on
his first WRC event for eight years. Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor
enjoyed a good run to fifth before they rolled into retirement on the
seventh stage. They, too, will be unable to restart tomorrow.
The second and final leg is even longer than today's marathon. After
leaving Jyväskylä at 05.50, drivers journey south-west for three loops
of stages covering 162.78km. They return to the city for the finish
ceremony at 19.45.
Bron | M-Sport
In afwachting van het officiële persbericht van
M-Sport alvast onderstaand verslag van wrc.com zodra het officiële
persbericht binnen is zullen wij deze hier posten.
Friday wrap: Latvala on top on Neste Oil Rally Finland:
Jari-Matti Latvala will start the final day of Neste Oil Rally Finland
with a 9.1-second lead over Petter Solberg following a dramatic start to
the event, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
Finn Latvala has never won his home rally before in seven previous
attempts and will have to withstand huge pressure from Solberg - who has
also yet to win the high-speed event - over the final eight all-gravel
stages on Saturday, when he will also have to clear the road of the
loose surface gravel by running at the head of the field.
“Running third on the road gave me a bit of an advantage today,” said
Latvala. “Maybe I took it too carefully at times but we’ll try to keep
up this pace tomorrow.”
Latvala moved into the lead after going fastest through the first
Sirkkamaki stage on Friday afternoon and has continued to edge clear in
his works Ford Focus. But while Latvala celebrated a successful first
day in Finland, his team-mate and countryman Mikko Hirvonen was left to
reflect on what might have been after crashing out of first place in
spectacular fashion on stage four.
“The dream is over and it’s just disappointing but at least we were on
the pace before it happened,” said Hirvonen, whose retirement elevated
Solberg into the rally lead before Latvala moved ahead three stages
later. “I am very comfortable, confident and relaxed,” said the Citroen
privateer. “I am not taking any big risks.”
Dani Sordo completed the opening loop of stages in third place but
slipped to fifth as fellow Citroen drivers Sebastien Ogier (third) and
Sebastien Loeb (fourth) edged ahead, despite spending much of the day
saddled by cleaning the road.
World championship leader Loeb’s fastest time through stage 10 was
achieved at an average speed of 133kph, which is believed to be a Rally
Matthew Wilson is sixth overnight in his Stobart M-Sport Ford Focus. The
young Briton was caught up in heavy rain close to the end of stage seven
and also reported a minor handling glitch in the afternoon.
Henning Solberg had climbed to fifth when he slid into a ditch on a
left-hander on stage eight and rolled twice, coming to a rest upside
down against a tree.
Four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen is up to seventh on his one-off
return to the WRC. The 51-year-old is closely followed by ex-Formula One
world champion Kimi Raikkonen, whom he vowed to try to beat before the
Mads Ostberg will start day two in touching distance of the top 10 as he
continues to claw back time following his moment on stage five when a
heavy landing on a rock broke his Subaru Impreza’s front-right wheel.
Abu Dhabi’s Khalid Al-Qassimi had been in the top 10 when he rolled into
retirement on stage six. He was one of four drivers to crash on the
Lankamaa test, which prompted organisers to award notional times to a
number of competitors when the stage had to be halted.
Rally Finland concludes with eight further stages on Saturday. Action
gets underway at 0733hrs local time with the first car due to reach the
finish in Jyvaskyla at 1945hrs. Occasional rain showers are being
terug overzicht WRC