02 t/m 04 2010 WRC Rally Jordanië
Happy returns for Latvala as Jordan delivers
Birthday boy Jari-Matti Latvala celebrated turning 25 today when he and
co-driver Miikka Anttila finished second in the Jordan Rally in a Ford
Focus RS World Rally Car. The BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team pair
claimed their best result in the FIA World Rally Championship for almost
a year after conquering intense heat and rocky desert tracks in the
Arabian kingdom on this third round of the 2010 season.
The runners-up position promoted the Finns into second in the drivers'
championship standings ahead of team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo
Lehtinen in a similar Focus RS WRC. Hirvonen finished 20th, restarting
this morning and completing the event under SupeRally rules after
retiring from fifth yesterday morning when he hit a bank and broke his
car's front left suspension.
Appearing in the WRC for only the second time, the Jordan Rally was
based on the shores of the Dead Sea, south-west of the capital city of
Amman, and at 420 metres below sea level, the lowest point on earth.
Appropriately for Easter weekend, the 21 speed tests covering 339.48km
ran in areas steeped in history through stories made famous in the Bible,
including the Baptism site where Jesus Christ was baptised in the Jordan
River, and Mount Nebo where Moses was buried overlooking the Holy Land.
Latvala dominated Friday's opening leg, picking his way skilfully
through the rocky desert landscape to build a 30.2sec advantage. As a
result he was first in the start order yesterday, and lost time as he
swept slippery loose gravel from the road surface to create a cleaner
and faster line for those behind to follow. He ended the day in third,
27.7sec from the lead but with an ideal start position for today.
A flurry of tactics at this morning's restart shuffled the start order
as drivers deliberately incurred time penalties to engineer a more
favourable start position for their team-mates. Latvala was now fourth
in the running order but, crucially, main rival Sébastien Loeb was
second rather than first and avoided the unwanted role as road opener.
Latvala attacked initially but, after two narrow escapes, soon called
off his pursuit of the leader and settled for a worthy second place. "It's
a much better birthday than last year when I thought I might die after
crashing and rolling 200 metres down a hillside in Portugal," he said. "Second
is a great result, although I felt a little disappointed this morning
when I realised I wouldn't be able to win. I kept the pressure on in
case he made a mistake and I could capitalise, but I also had to stay
"This is my third good result in three rallies this season and this run
has boosted my confidence. The tactical decisions this morning changed
the course of the day. It had a huge effect with Loeb second in the
start order. The difference between first and second in the order is
huge in terms of road cleaning, while second and third or third and
fourth is only marginal," added Latvala, who won three special stages on
Thursday and two today.
Hirvonen ended the opening leg in fifth but crashed out less than 3km
into yesterday's opening stage, breaking the suspension. "I made a
mistake and took too tight a line over a crest. The car hit a small
gravel bank on the inside of a right bend and the impact threw it into
the air and across the road. I was lucky not to roll, but it landed on
the left front wheel and the suspension broke," he said.
Lying 20th and with no chance of regaining lost time, the 29-year-old
Finn was happy to deliberately incur a time penalty by restarting early
this morning to improve Latvala's road position. He paced himself
through the final eight tests, run in temperatures as high as 33ºC, to
finish 20th and score valuable points for the team in the manufacturers'
"It was a disappointing weekend," he admitted. "I made a silly mistake
but that was going to happen at some point. I just wish it hadn't
happened here this weekend. It's unlike me and I want the old Mikko
back. The team did a good job of repairing my car and today I drove
carefully, checking my pace notes and taking no risks. It's not the same
as when you are fighting for victory and attacking because it's hard to
keep the rhythm. The roads were extremely slippery and the most
technical of the rally."
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson said: "I'm pleased we set
competitive times and won stages again. Jari-Matti's performance was a
big boost because the pressure was on him after Mikko made an
uncharacteristic mistake. His result was a reward for a mature and
Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn said: "After the
disappointment on the last round in Mexico, we promised we would bounce
back here, and we did. Jari-Matti was the class act of the first day and
remained in the battle for victory until today. It was a confidence
boost for the whole team."
Round four of the series takes the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team to a new-look
Rally of Turkey. The base has moved from the south coast holiday resort
of Kemer to Istanbul in the north – the gateway between Europe and Asia.
The rally, on 15 - 18 April, remains on gravel and spans both continents.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 3hr 51min 35.9sec
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 52min 11.7sec
3. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4 3hr 52min 47.7sec
4 D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 3hr 53min 25.2sec
5. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 4hr 00min 00.2sec
6. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 4hr 02min 02.3sec
7. F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 4hr 03min 03.9sec
8. K Räikkönen/K Lindström FIN Citroen C4 4hr 04min 06.9sec
9. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 4hr 05min 44.5sec
10 X Pons/A Haro ESP Ford Fiesta 4hr 10min 09.8sec
1. S Loeb 68pts
2. J-M Latvala 43pts
3. M Hirvonen 37pts
4. P Solberg 35pts
5. S Ogier 33pts
6. D Sordo 24pts
1. Citroen Total 101pts
2. BP Ford Abu Dhabi 87pts
3. Citroen Junior 48pts
4. Stobart M-Sport Ford 44pts
5. Munchi's Ford 16pts
Bron | M-Sport
Stand na dag 2:
Front-running Latvala rewarded for persistence in
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team duo Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila lie third in the Jordan Rally after an absorbing contest during
today's second leg. Despite facing the worst of the road conditions in
the rocky Arabian desert, the Finns battled hard throughout the longest
leg of this three-day rally and were rewarded by gaining their preferred
position in the start order for tomorrow's exciting finale.
Good Friday turned out to be far from that for team-mates Mikko Hirvonen
and Jarmo Lehtinen. The Finns were less than 3km into the day's opening
speed test when they retired their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car from
fifth place with broken front suspension after hitting a bank.
The temperature by the shores of the Dead Sea warmed up in more ways
than one today. As the mercury in the thermometer climbed to 33ºC, the
battle for supremacy in this third round of the FIA World Rally
Championship also became hotter. Six pairings started the day with
realistic ambitions of victory. Ahead of them lay a gruelling 138.28km
of competition, including two passes through the daunting 41.45km Jordan
River special stage, which tracks the river through traditional Bedouin
communities along the high-security border between Jordan and Palestine.
Latvala began the day with a 30.2sec advantage in his Focus RS WRC at
the head of the leaderboard, but the 24-year-old knew he would do well
to retain that. He was first in the start order and traction and grip
were at a minimum as he swept slippery loose gravel from the road
surface to create a cleaner and faster line for those behind.
He ended the morning with his lead reduced to 4.7sec and was finally
overhauled by Sébastien Loeb on the penultimate test. As drivers
contemplated slowing in the final stage at Jordan River to improve
tomorrow's start position, Latvala continued to battle on, fearing that
he might again have to endure a road sweeping role in the morning. When
the dust settled at the end of one of the longest tests of the season,
Latvala was 27.7sec from the lead in third, and delighted with his start
"It's the perfect position for me because the two drivers ahead will
clean the road," he said. "I need everything to click into place so I
can fight for victory. It was good experience for me to take on the role
that nobody wanted today, but I'm happy to let someone else take over
for tomorrow. I thought tactics would come into play from those behind
to make me start first tomorrow, but it didn't happen.
"This morning the grip level was slippery, but consistent. This
afternoon it was good in the braking areas but venture slightly off the
line and there was no grip at all. The ruts were narrow and I struggled
to keep the car in the tracks. I know my first priority is to ensure I
finish but sometimes you need to take risks and I would really like to
win. It's possible to catch the guys ahead if everything goes perfectly.
I'll keep the pressure on during the morning loop and see how things
"Running first was difficult, but I expected that and I was pleased with
my performance. There were many rhythm changes in Jordan River and the
stage is so long and featureless that it's hard to remember where you
are. There aren't many landmarks and the road winds through scenery that
is very similar," added Latvala.
Hirvonen, who started the day in fifth, was left to reflect what might
have been. "I made a silly mistake and I can't believe it. The stage was
going well when I took too tight a line over a crest. The car hit a
small gravel bank on the inside of a right bend and the impact threw it
into the air and across the road. I was lucky not to roll but it landed
on the left front wheel and the front left suspension broke. I rarely
make a mistake and I'm disappointed. I've put myself in a difficult
position from a championship perspective but I'll fight back," he said.
He will restart in 20th place under SupeRally rules tomorrow.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson said: "Jari-Matti has a
good start position tomorrow. It was from third in the order that he
drove so well to take the lead yesterday. He is in a strong position to
challenge for victory. Mikko's retirement was very disappointing. I feel
desperately sorry for him because he was in a good position to challenge
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford drivers Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin are sixth
in a Focus RS WRC despite a misfire during the first pass through the
Jordan River stage. Team-mates Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor punctured
a rear right tyre after hitting some rocks in the same test. They
stopped to replace the tyre, but brake issues cost more time and they
dropped more than six minutes and slid to 13th. They recovered to ninth
by the end of the day. Munchi's Ford drivers Federico Villagra and Jorge
Perez Companc are seventh in a Focus RS WRC, despite stalling briefly at
The final day takes competitors north of the Dead Sea base. After
restarting at 07.30, they face two identical loops of four stages, split
by a return to the Dead Sea service park mid-morning. The final stage of
each loop passes the place where Jesus Christ was baptised in the Jordan
River. The finish ceremony on the shores of the Dead Sea takes place at
15.30 after another 105.50km of competition.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 2hr 41min 06.7sec
2. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 2hr 41min 31.3sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 41min 34.4sec
4. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4 2hr 41min 49.9sec
5 D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 2hr 41min 55.5sec
6. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 2hr 46min 12.4sec
7. F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 2hr 47min 57.7sec
8. K Räikkönen/K Lindström FIN Citroen C4 2hr 49min 15.7sec
9. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 2hr 51min 10.7sec
10 X Pons/A Haro ESP Ford Fiesta 2hr 51min 24.4sec
Bron | M-Sport
Stand na dag 1:
Latvala takes charge for Ford in Jordan's rocky
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila dominated today's opening leg of the Jordan Rally to lead for
virtually the entire day. The Finnish duo won three of the seven loose
surface speed tests near the shores of the Dead Sea to build a 30.2sec
advantage in their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car after the first of
three days of competition. Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen
lie fifth in a similar car, 42.2sec behind their colleagues.
It was an ideal start to this third round of the FIA World Rally
Championship for the Ford squad. Latvala has a sizeable lead going into
the longest day of the rally, in which the 24-year-old will be first in
the start order. However, if the slippery gravel-covered roads hinder
his pace, Hirvonen is well-placed to take advantage courtesy of fifth in
the order, by which time the loose stones should be swept from the
surface to provide a cleaner and faster driving line.
The 2,000-year-old Roman city of Jerash hosted a spectacular start
ceremony this morning. The high-tech World Rally Cars presented an
incongruous sight as they followed in the wheel tracks of chariots amid
the ruined city's amphitheatres, plaza and colonnaded street.
Competitors then journeyed west of the capital city of Amman to tackle
seven sun-kissed gravel special stages through areas famed by stories
from the Bible. They covered 95.70km before ending the day at the lowest
point on earth at the Dead Sea – 420 metres below sea level.
Apart from the opening special stage in the Rumman Forest, north of
Amman, the three other tests were all repeated and crossed an arid and
featureless desert landscape. The roads were treacherously slippery this
morning as a covering of loose gravel made grip inconsistent at best,
but after the stones were swept clear during the first pass, the roads
were cleaner and faster this afternoon. Large rocks lined the tracks and
considering the vast emptiness of the desert, it was ironic that just a
tiny error in selecting the ideal driving line could send a car crashing
into the damaging boulders.
Latvala was quickest through the opening two stages to build a 4.3sec
lead. Although he was briefly edged into second, he regained top spot on
the final test of the morning, which passed the site where Moses was
buried overlooking the Holy Land. He extended his lead substantially on
the final stage this afternoon as drivers jostled for position by
tactically slowing in search of a better road position for the second
"It has been a long time since I led a rally," said Latvala. "I had an
incredible feeling with the car and the set-up was perfect after my test
last week, so I had great confidence. I made no changes to the car and
it was one of those days where everything was ideal. Tomorrow will be
demanding but the first car through the stages today didn’t lose so much
time, so I'm not worried by the prospect of being in that position
myself. I will drive flat out and it is up to those behind to chase me.
"The team's strategy was targeted towards helping Mikko. By being first
on the road, I will help sweep the gravel and hopefully he can benefit.
If the roads don't clean so much, then we'll see how my lead stands up
against those behind," he added.
Hirvonen spun on the opening Rumman Forest stage and was only eighth.
However, he climbed to sixth after the opening loop, 28.0sec behind his
team-mate. He gained a further position on the final test and Hirvonen
was happy with his day's work.
"It was a short day, the shortest of the rally, but that doesn't make it
any less important," he said. "With two long days still to come I don't
think anyone has taken any big risks. Today was all about being in the
right position at the end and I'm happy with where I am. I'm confident I
have a good position from which to benefit tomorrow and I'm ready for a
big fight. Jari-Matti was superb and between us we've enjoyed a good day.
"I spun halfway through the first stage and stalled the engine twice
before I could restart. I was too fast entering a hairpin and the car
half-spun. The roads are technical and demanding, with big rocks waiting
by the side of the road if you make a mistake. In its own way, this
rally is one of the biggest challenges in the sport," he added.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson said: "It was a dream day.
We lead the rally, we set fastest times and both cars ran faultlessly. I
can't ask for any more. We devised what we believed was the right
strategy ahead of the longest day tomorrow and with Jari-Matti leading
and Mikko in fifth, we tried to cover all possibilities."
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford drivers Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor are seventh
after a smooth and troublefree day with team-mates Matthew Wilson and
Scott Martin one place behind. Both are in Focus RS World Rally Cars.
Munchi's Ford drivers Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez Companc are
ninth, despite minor brake issues.
The second leg covers 138.28km of action and features two passes over
the marathon 41.45km stage along the banks of the Jordan River, one of
the longest tests of the season. After a 07.30 restart, drivers tackle
two identical loops of three stages before returning to the Dead Sea for
the final overnight halt at 16.31.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 11min 31.5sec
2. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 1hr 12min 01.7sec
3. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 1hr 12min 03.3sec
4. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4 1hr 12min 04.0sec
5. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 12min 13.7sec
6. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 1hr 12min 16.9sec
7. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 1hr 12min 52.4sec
8. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 1hr 13min 32.6sec
9. F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 1hr 14min 19.7sec
10 K Räikkönen/K Lindström FIN Citroen C4 1hr 15min 22.0sec
Bron | M-Sport
terug overzicht WRC