07 t/m 09 mei 2010 New Zealand.
De eindstand, dag 3:
Latvala wins Rally New Zealand for Ford after
Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila today won Rally New Zealand after a storybook ending to this
fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. After remarkable drama
in the final few kilometres, the Finns won by just 2.4sec in their Ford
Focus RS World Rally Car - the third closest finish ever. The victory
means Ford becomes the most successful manufacturer in the history of
the WRC with 75 wins.
Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished fourth in another
Focus RS WRC, to enable Ford to close to within five points of the lead
in the manufacturers' championship standings with eight rounds remaining.
Latvala's victory was his third career success and his first since
triumphing in Italy almost 12 months ago. He climbs to second in the
drivers' standings and Hirvonen moves up to third. Ford and Rally New
Zealand have a habit of generating excitement in recent years. The team
won the manufacturers' world title here in 2006 for the first time in 27
years. Twelve months later Marcus Grönholm won after the closest finish
in WRC history, with an advantage of just 0.3sec.
The event returned to Auckland as the host city for the first time since
2005. Organisers took advantage of new-for-2010 rules to increase the
competitive distance to 396.50km over three days, making it the longest
WRC round since 2004. The action took place on smooth, flowing speed
tests to the north and south-west of the City of Sails. The
predominantly gravel special stages, regarded as the best in the world
by many drivers, were spiced up with the addition of several asphalt
Latvala was one of four leaders during the opening day, which he ended
in second. The 25-year-old Finn was frustrated after losing time
yesterday and started the final day in third, 33.2sec from the lead but
in a better start position than those ahead. He climbed a place on the
second of the four speed tests on the Tasman Sea coastline near Raglan
and went into the final stage, the legendary 29.67km Whaanga Coast, just
6.2sec from the lead.
Four drivers started with a chance of victory. Petter Solberg was the
first to fall by the wayside when he crashed into a telegraph pole and
then Sébastien Loeb spun, for the second time in the test, less than
10km from the finish. Remarkably leader Sébastien Ogier then went off
the road just three corners from the finish. Amid all the drama, the
consistent Latvala kept calm to power to a fairytale victory.
"I didn't think it could happen, it's the most amazing and beautiful
win," said Latvala. "Whaanga Coast showed its teeth. I neared the end of
the stage and could see a car's bumper on the road but I didn't know
which car it was from. I didn't know we had won until three minutes
after the finish of the stage and Miikka did the calculations. It's my
best win and makes up for my disappointments.
"I can't believe I'm second in the championship. I wasn't the fastest
here but I was the most consistent and that paid off when it mattered. I
need to carry on doing the job I'm doing as second driver because my
strategy is working. It was a fantastic rally over the most beautiful
roads in the world," he added.
Hirvonen struggled to find the pace he wanted during the opening two
days, and the 29-year-old Finn began the final day in sixth, a minute
from the lead. He more than halved that deficit during the opening two
stages this morning as he climbed to fifth and then gained another
position on the final stage when Solberg crashed out.
"It was a difficult weekend but I was able to climb up today and score
valuable points for the team and myself," he said. "After yesterday I
thought there would be no chance of a good result. I struggled and the
mistake I made cost a lot. I need to think about why I had no speed
yesterday. If I could start the weekend again I would change my Friday
Delighted BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson
said: "This sport has a habit of producing the unexpected. The last
three days have been full-on excitement and the drama we witnessed takes
some believing. Jari-Matti displayed great maturity. We worked hard with
him after last season to develop greater consistency and maturity, and
he showed how far he has progressed."
Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn hailed Ford's 75th WRC win.
"Ford is a stalwart supporter of world rallying and our 75th victory is
a landmark achievement. Ford has won with the Escort and we have won
with the Sierra but it's fitting that the Focus, our most successful
rally car, should claim our 75th victory in its final season as our WRC
News from other Ford teams
The Ford Fiesta S2000 claimed a clean sweep of the podium positions in
the S-WRC support category. Jari Ketomaa and Mika Stenberg led home Xevi
Pons and Alex Haro by 54.1sec, with Martin Prokop and Jan Tománek third.
The Fiesta S2000, which will form the basis of Ford's all-new Fiesta WRC
for the 2011 campaign, has won the opening three rounds of the category.
Pons leads the championship.
The opening half of the season ends on gravel with the Rally de
Portugal. It is based in Faro on the Algarve coast on 27 - 30 May.
1. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 4hr 04min 09.8sec
2. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 4hr 04min 12.2sec
3. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 4hr 04min 25.0sec
4. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 4hr 04min 31.1sec
5. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 4hr 04min 35.6sec
6. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 4hr 07min 35.8sec
7. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 4hr 10min 25.1sec
8. J Ketomaa/M Stenberg FIN Ford Fiesta S2000 4hr 14min 29.1sec
9. F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 4hr 14min 59.6sec
10 X Pons/A Haro ESP Ford Fiesta S2000 4hr 15min 23.2sec
1. S Loeb 108pts
2. J-M Latvala 72pts
3. M Hirvonen 64pts
4. S Ogier 63pts
5. P Solberg 53pts
6. D Sordo 34pts
1. Citroen Total 156pts
2. BP Ford Abu Dhabi 151pts
3. Citroen Junior 75pts
4. Stobart M-Sport Ford 74pts
5. Munchi's Ford 32pts
Bron | M-Sport
Stand na dag 2:
Latvala in podium place as New Zealand rally
heads into last day
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila go into tomorrow's final leg of Rally New Zealand with their
sights fixed on a podium finish. The Finns lie third in a Ford Focus RS
World Rally Car after today's demanding second leg, which has again
delivered excitement and changes aplenty at the top of the leaderboard.
Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen are sixth in another Focus
It was another long day behind the wheel for the 50 surviving
competitors, who tackled 155.62km of competition in the northern Waikato
region of North Island. They faced two identical loops of four stages,
three over flowing gravel roads in the country and one at the new
Hampton Downs motor racing circuit. There was only a 15-minute slot in
which to service cars midway through the day and, as an additional
challenge, all the country tests included asphalt sections.
Temperatures were cool under overcast skies but the rain kept away. As
on the opening leg, the dry conditions meant loose gravel on the surface
of the fast, flowing cambered roads was a disadvantage to the early
starters. Those further down the running order enjoyed a cleaner and
faster line after the stones were swept clear.
Latvala, lying second overnight, dropped to third during the opening
loop, but quickly regained the place to end the morning 14.4sec from the
lead. Despite consistent times during the afternoon, the 25-year-old
lost a position to the charging Sébastien Loeb to end the day 33.2sec
from the lead.
"The roads were more difficult to drive than I expected," he said. "They
were much more slippery. When we made the recce the surface was damp,
but today it was totally dry and the grip was different. My weakness
came on the middle stage of each loop because my pace notes weren't
precise enough and I lost time. I opted to take two spare tyres this
afternoon because I was concerned about tyre wear but it was a mistake.
The extra weight meant the rear of the car didn't handle so well.
"I would have been happy to be third in the running order tomorrow and
15sec from the lead, but I think 30sec is too much to take back. My
priority is to hold onto third and anything else will be a bonus.
Tomorrow's stages are notoriously demanding so I don't want to risk what
I have," he added.
Hirvonen had a difficult day. Restarting in fifth, just 20.2sec from the
lead, the 29-year-old Finn dropped time on the opening test. "About 7km
before the finish, the car slid wide, spun and stopped facing the wrong
way. I had to drive back down the road briefly to turn round. The back
of the car hit a bank and the impact punctured the tyre. I thought I had
broken the suspension but fortunately that wasn't the case. If the car
slides too wide, then you are driving too fast. I tried to push too hard
and made a mistake," he said.
He recovered well to end the morning still in fifth, 38.0sec from the
lead. However, he could not produce the top times he needed this
afternoon to close the gap and dropped a position to overnight 60.2sec
"I tried so hard but I just can't go any faster. I made a mistake this
morning but after that I drove well and really enjoyed the stages. I'm
happier with my driving today and a harder suspension set-up was better,
but the times just weren't there. It has been a long time since I've
been happy with my driving yet found myself in sixth," added the
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford drivers Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin lie seventh
in a Focus RS World Rally Car, despite understeer and brake difficulties.
Team-mates Henning Solberg and Ilka Minor are eighth, the Norwegian
driver still struggling with his car's handling. Munchi's Ford duo
Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez Companc climbed into 10th in their
Focus RS WRC. Jari Ketomaa and Mika Stenberg continue to head a Ford
Fiesta S2000 1-2 in the S-WRC support category.
The final leg is the shortest of the event and is again based on the
west coast of North Island, but further south than today. After leaving
Auckland at 06.00, drivers tackle two identical loops of two tests on
the Tasman Sea coast covering 81.70km. They are split by a short remote
service in Raglan. The second stage of the loop is the classic Whaanga
Coast, which provides superb picture postcard views over the Tasman from
high on the cliffs above.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 3hr 05min 40.4sec
2. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 3hr 05min 45.7sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 06min 13.6sec
4. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 3hr 06min 27.9sec
5. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4 3hr 06min 34.0sec
6. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 06min 40.6sec
7. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 3hr 08min 45.3sec
8. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 3hr 11min 21.8sec
9. J Ketomaa/M Stenberg FIN Ford Fiesta S2000 3hr 13min 53.1sec
10 F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 3hr 14min 09.2sec
Bron | M-Sport
Stand na dag 1:
Latvala well-positioned in second after New
an enthralling day's action in which four different drivers topped the
leaderboard, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team's Jari-Matti Latvala and
Miikka Anttila ended the opening leg of Rally New Zealand in second
place. The Finns are just 1.4sec from the lead in their Ford Focus RS
World Rally Car. Team-mates and fellow countrymen Mikko Hirvonen and
Jarmo Lehtinen are fifth in another Focus RS WRC, 20.2sec from the lead.
Although the opening leg of this fifth round of the FIA World Rally
Championship is the longest of the three-day event, it was very much the
starter ahead of tomorrow's main course. Drivers jockeyed for position
on the fast and flowing gravel roads of North Island, aware that guiding
themselves into a good place in the start order for the second leg was
the most important task of the day. Just 8.7sec covered the top four
cars, with Hirvonen also firmly in contention one place behind.
The rally is based in Auckland for the first time since 2005 and that
allowed today's route to journey into the Northland region, north of the
city, to tackle roads that have not been used since then. Drivers
completed two loops of four gravel speed tests, three of which were used
twice, before a short asphalt special stage at Auckland's War Memorial
Museum ended the day. There was just a brief 15-minute stop in Whangarei
between the two loops in which to service cars. The nine tests covered
A remarkably warm summer created dry, dusty conditions, and a thick
layer of gravel covered the road surface. It left the early starters at
a disadvantage, as they swept the stones clear to leave a cleaner and
faster line for those further down the running order. With similar
conditions expected tomorrow, the leading drivers focused on ending the
day as close as possible to the lead, but in an overall position that
will allow them to benefit from a lower start order.
New Zealand's smooth, heavily cambered roads are a driver's dream and
they are regarded as among the best in the world. The pace was fast and
furious this morning as Latvala settled into third from his position of
fourth in the start order.
"I couldn't find a good rhythm in the opening two stages and I wasn't
comfortable with my driving," said the 25-year-old. "The third stage was
better and the final one was fantastic to drive. It was just like a
stage at home in Finland and was probably the best feeling I've
experienced this year. There was a lot of loose gravel on the first two
stages but the next two were better and they cleaned up more."
Consistent times this afternoon ensured Latvala became the fourth
different leader after the seventh of the nine stages, but the Finn was
happy to settle for second overnight.
"It gives me a good road position tomorrow. I will have the advantage of
seeing the braking points in the gravel from the car ahead and that will
make a big difference. I had a good, clear run today. My only moment of
concern came when I slid into a ditch on the long afternoon stage. It's
a tight battle on demanding roads and the fight for victory will go all
the way to Sunday, so I must push to the maximum with no dramas.
Tomorrow's stages are more technical on narrower roads and the car will
feel less stable on the asphalt sections with gravel tyres," he said.
Hirvonen, third in the start order, held third initially but slipped to
fifth after the road cleaning process became more pronounced during the
final two tests of the opening loop. He remained there during the
afternoon stages but admitted that he would have preferred to be closer
to the leader. He survived unscathed this morning after a bird flew into
the windscreen of his Focus RS WRC, fortunately without shattering the
"I can't explain just how enjoyable it is to drive on these roads," he
said. "It was like dancing with the car. Maybe I've enjoyed them a
little too much because I need to up the pace a fraction. I can't afford
to let the guys in front of me get away. I was frustrated to lose time
on the final two proper stages because I had a great run, but I have a
perfect start position tomorrow and I'm still there fighting for the
win. My performance was OK, but not as good as it could have been. The
car set-up wasn't quite perfect and with only remote service, we had no
opportunity to change it.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team director Malcolm Wilson reflected on what he
labelled 'a good, solid team performance'. "Today witnessed one of the
closest battles we've seen so far this season with only 20sec covering
the top five paces. Jari-Matti has driven fantastically well while Mikko
will start tomorrow in a great road position. Both cars ran faultlessly
and we're well-placed tonight," he said.
News from other Ford teams
Stobart M-Sport Ford drivers Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin lie sixth
in a Focus RS WRC, despite a side window breaking this morning to allow
dust into the car and gearbox hitches this afternoon. Team-mates Henning
Solberg and Ilka Minor are eighth, the Norwegian driver unhappy with his
car's handling. Munchi's Ford duo Federico Villagra and Jorge Perez
Companc lie 11th. Spaniards Xevi Pons and Alex Haro head a 1-2 in the
S-WRC support category for the Ford Fiesta S2000.
The second day is another long and demanding leg with 155.62km of
competition, the bulk of it held south-west of Auckland in the Franklin
and northern Waikato areas. After restarting at 06.00, drivers face two
identical loops of four stages. The opening three are on country roads
before a short test on the fringe of Auckland at the new Hampton Downs
motor racing circuit. To add an extra challenge, each of the day's
country stages is mixed surface and the Hampton Downs test is
all-asphalt. Drivers return to Auckland for the final overnight halt at
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen C4 1hr 35min 51.3sec
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 35min 52.7sec
3. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 1hr 35min 55.2sec
4. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 1hr 36min 00.0sec
5. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 36min 11.5sec
6. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 1hr 37min 01.0sec
7. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 1hr 37min 11.1sec
8. H Solberg/I Minor NOR Ford Focus RS 1hr 37min 36.6sec
9. J Ketomaa/M Stenberg FIN Ford Fiesta S2000 1hr 40min 09.3sec
10 X Pons/A Haro ESP Ford Fiesta S2000 1hr 40min 31.8sec
Bron | M-Sport
terug overzicht WRC