Neste Oil Rally Finland
Issue 1, September 2012
ADAC Rally Deutschland
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Overview
Neste Oil Rally Finland
Based in: Jyvaskyla Date: 2-4/08/2012 Number of stages: 18 Shortest stage: Jokimaa â€“ 2.00 km Longest stage: Ouninpohja â€“ 33.01 km Total stage distance: 304 km Surface: Gravel
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Rally review 3/22
fter a six week summer break the WRC continued in Finland. Based in the student town of Jyvaskyla the rally provides what all those students like the most, a good party. The event is driven over two (and a half) days rather than the usual three days. The reason being that the stages on Sunday don’t really offer that much more to the rally, and finishing on Saturday means a nice party can be thrown afterwards, without having to worry about the alarm clock waking you up for Monday’s working day. A nice philosophy to go by. For the opening leg the drivers headed way down south to Lahti, some 200 kilometers from Jyvaskyla. Things started off with a rally show in Lahti. The Fins
know how to put on a show and are fulfilling the wish of the FIA to bring rallying closer to the crowds. The FIA wants the WRC to become more of a family event and showing the cars in densely populated areas rather than just forests in which the stages take place is a good way of doing so. The organizers understand this, and although some drivers might not have been too pleased with the long road sections, the fans in Lahti sure thought otherwise. After the show, the rally kicked off with a proper stage and a super special in Lahti itself. As dawn began to set the drivers moved back north towards Jyvaskyla for the third and final stage of the short opening leg. Surprisingly Sebastien Loeb took the lead after the first three stages. Although Loeb is of course the man
to beat at the moment, many thought Finland might just be the place he would get beat. Finland is one of the places Ford has consistently been on the pace with the Citroens here and Loeb does not particularly like the rally. Before the event however Citroen announced they had updated the rear suspensions of their cars. Although the new system had not undergone all testing as desired, the team management decided to go ahead and take a gamble. It obviously paid off as Loeb stormed into the lead despite running first on the road. Hirvonen and Latvala were tied for second 7.3 seconds behind. Day two kicked off with the Urria stage with the infamous big jump. It ran in reverse direction this year and most opted for a cautious approach over the big jump, uncertain of where it might land them. A battle unfolded between Loeb and Hirvonen for top honor. There were no team orders this time and the two were let loose to settle the dispute on their own. Early on Hirvonen was creeping closer towards Loeb while the Fords were starting to lose ground. Both Latavala and Solberg were already 15 and 18 seconds behind halfway through the day, quite a margin in Finland. Meanwhile Chris Atkinson had returned to the WRC replacing Nasser Al-Attiyah who was busy winning a bronze medal in skeet shooting at the Olympics in London. ‘Atko’ seized the opportunity to return to the WRC and made no secret of the fact that he wants to return full time. He made an impression early on running in a solid eighth place before losing 17 minutes on stage eight. He would carry on though and without the time loss he would have finished in the top five.
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Rally review 4/22
Another good performance came from Thierry Neuville. The young Belgian was driving a WRC in Finland for the first time and was competitive from the word go. Neuville was in sixth and beating some of the local young talents before he made a mistake on the final stage of the day. It dropped him out of the top ten, but he had made a strong point to his team boss. After all if you can go fast in Finland, you can go fast anywhere.
The final day of the event was dominated by the battle for the win. Loeb started with a slim 5 second lead over Hirvonen who was on a mission to prove in front of his home crowd that he has the pace to challenge the Frenchman. On the first stages Loeb edged ahead a bit more while anticipation was building up for the final two stages, two running over the infamous Ouninpohja stage. Hirvonen being the local hero was expected to do exceedingly well on this epic stage and with a total length of 66 kilometers for the two runs, quite some time could be made up.
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Rally review 5/22
Throughout the weekend crowds had been big as usual in Finland but nothing could prepare us for the mayhem we encountered at Ouninpohja. Parking areas were filled up hours before the first run and access roads got jammed. The organizers had advertised the event with the catchphrase ‘The Legend is Back’ referring to the return of the full fledge version of Ouninpohja. The legend of the stage is obviously entrenched deep in the hearts of the Finnish fans and this was what they all came to see. The gap between Loeb and Hirvonen had grown to just over 9 seconds in favor of the Frenchman. On the first run through Hirvonen did what was expected and set the fastest time. Loeb responded with a quick time of his own and kept the margin at 7 seconds. The noise of the crowd and their sound horns was immense as Hirvonen stormed through the stage for the second time. Throwing caution to the wind he incredibly improved his time of the first run by almost ten seconds. Loeb, running directly behind him on the stage, was aware of Hirvonen’s pace and knew how fast he had to go. There is a big difference between knowing and being able to do it, but Loeb always seems to be in control of the situation, as was the case here. He stayed close to Hirvonen to keep an overall lead of 6 seconds after the stage. Although the Fords donned a new livery in Finland, they failed to shine. Citroen outpaced them throughout the weekend and it is clear there is a lot of work to do in Cumbria if they are to challenge the French in the remaining rounds of the championship.
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Final results 6/22
Final result 1. Loeb-Elena Citroën DS3 2. Hirvonen-Lehtinen Citroën DS3 3. Latvala-Antilla Ford Fiesta 4. Solberg-Patterson Ford Fiesta 5. Ostberg-Andersson Ford Fiesta 6. Tanak-Sikk Ford Fiesta 7. Rantanen-Lukka Ford Fiesta 8. Ketomaa-Stenberg Ford Fiesta 9. Prokop-Hruza Ford Fiesta 10. Ogier-Ingrassia Skoda Fabia
WRC 2.28.11,4 WRC +6,1 WRC +35,0 WRC +56,1 WRC +2.32,1 WRC +2.47,6 WRC +4.51,7 WRC +6.01,9 WRC +6.04,3 S2000 +8.46,0
Neste Oil rally Finland / Standings 7/22
Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Sebastien Loeb Mikko Hirvonen Petter Solberg Mads Ostberg Jari-Matti Latvala Evgeny Novikov Martin Prokop Thierry Neuville Dani Sordo Ott Tanak
Manufacturer standings Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Mini John Cooper Works WRC Ford Fiesta WRC
171 points 128 points 104 points 90 points 69 points 55 points 38 points 32 points 29 points 26 points
1. Citroën Total World Rally Team 280 points 2. Ford World Rally Team 171 points 3. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 115 points 4. Qatar World Rally Team 49 points 5. Citroën Junio World Rally Team 48 points 6. Adapta World Rally Team 37 points 7. MINI WRC Team 26 points 8. Brazil World Rally Team 16 points
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Special Stage 8/22
Special Stage Ouninpohja - 33,01 km
ally Finland is known as one of the fastest rounds of the WRC. This fact alone is not the only reason everybody treats it with the respect it deserves. The fame and fright of the event all come together on the mother of all stages: Ouninpohja. The mere name brings goose bumps to rally fans and shear fear to most rally drivers. Former double world champion Carlos Sainz qualified it as the scariest stage in the world. Ouninpohja ranks amongst the very top of ‘classic stages’ in the world, on equal ranks with the likes of Monte Carlo’s Col du Turini. For various reasons the rollercoaster ride was not (fully) included in recent years though. The most heard reason was safety concerns. As rally cars got quicker throughout the years the speeds reached on Ouninpohja were deemed too high, even by WRC standards. In 2004 Petter Solberg broke the FIA average speed limit of 130 kph. During this run he heroically kept his accelerator floored for a 4 km section, no braking, no lifting, just flat out rallying. He completed that 4 km stretch with an average pace of well over 200 kph. If you have ever driven the stage yourself you will understand the craziness this must require. When you look up the stage on a map, it does not look al that daunting. It’s long, but it also has long straight sections. In reality however, things are very different. The long straight sections are indeed included in the stage. The problem is that the stage is almost never flat. It’s 33 kilometers of bumps, crests and (sometimes huge) jumps. This means that as a driver you can’t ever really see where you are going. You are constantly driving over tops after which can be a straight section, a fast bend left or right or the occasional tight corner. Apart from taking away visibility the crests constantly lift the car in the air. The car is not launched in the air all the time, but it does hinge to the top of its suspension, meaning less grip and traction. Blind trust in your co-driver and mastering the momentum of the car are absolutely crucial to be fast here, or to make it to the end at all.
The Legend is Back
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Special Stage 9/22
‘Fantastic!’ Record holder Petter Solberg is in love with the stage. ‘This is the ultimate rally stage. It has everything you could want as a driver, jumps, challenging corners and above all, SPEED!’ Teammate Jari Matti Latvala uses a more analytical way to describe the stage. ‘It goes for all rally stages, but here more than anywhere, you need to find the rhythm. If you have no experience here, you are either not fast enough or you will crash. Even for the experienced drivers it is difficult. Just imagine all the jumps on the stage and I don’t mean the big ones like at the yellow house, but the sections in which the little jumps follow each other very quickly. When you do the recce at low speed the car barely moves but when you go at full speed in the race, you really fly. It means you have to trust the notes 100% because you have to put the car in the right direction before the jump. Sometimes though after the corner there is another jump so you need to set the car for the corner behind the jump after the corner behind the jump!’ Yes, it is as confusing as it looks, now imagine going through this process at 180 kph on a narrow gravel road with trees towering up on each side of the road…. It sounds incredible but that’s the way it goes on Ouninpohja, you see cars flying sideways with their wheels turned to the opposite direction. It usually works out. The stage was not the deciding factor at the front of the field. It was run twice at the end of the rally as the penultimate stage and as the power stage finale. By then Loeb had already built a sizeable lead and although Hirvonen tried, he could not reel the Frenchman back in. Proof that Hirvonen was really trying came on the boards with the power stage times. Hirvonen won that final stage beating Petter Solberg’s record time.
We have to fear the stage will be changed again next year as he completed the stage in 15 minutes and 17 seconds, an average pace of 130,55 kph, again breaking the FIA’s speed limit. One man in particular would be disappointed should this happen. Ken Block missed the stage this year too because he had retired earlier on. It was a huge disappointment for the American, he responded immediately after retiring: ‘The worst part about this is that I will not be able to do Ouninpohja now. That really is the most incredible stage I have seen!’ This coming from the man who has captivated millions on YouTube with his Gymkhana video clips in which he does some pretty incredible things with a car himself. Craig Breen on the other hand would probably not
be too down hearted if the stage were to be scrapped from the event. Rally Finland was only his second event after his tragic crash in the Targa Florio rally which resulted in the death of his co-driver Gareth Roberts. Despite this traumatizing experience Breen was doing well in Finland, leading the SWRC standings into the final running of Ouninpohja. Near the end however things went wrong again. In one of the final sections he came a bit too fast through a junction putting his car half a meter too wide. Small mistakes like these are punished relentlessly in Finland as Breen rolled several times in spectacular fashion due to it. Although both driver and co-driver were OK it handed the SWRC victory to Swedish Proton driver P-G Andersson.
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Who’s hot? 10/22
Who’s hot? Sebastien Loeb Citroen DS3 WRC Citroen Total World Rally Team
ebastien Loeb is rallying’s ultimate champion. Well underway towards his ninth world crown Loeb managed to put in yet another remarkable performance. Scandinavians and Fins in particular tend to dominate the Finnish round of the WRC; it is unlikely for anybody from the south to win. Apart from Loeb only Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol managed to do so. However Loeb didn’t just win here, it was the third time he did. By doing so he set yet another record which seems unlikely to be broken soon (if at all). We once again take our hats of for the master.
Neste Oil Rally Finland / Who’s hot? 11/22
Who’s not? Evgeny Novikov Ford Fiesta WRC M-Sport Ford World Rally Team
vgeny Novikov jumped into stardom here in 2009 with an amazing jump on the Urria stage. By nearly back flipping his Citroen C4 the young Russian became one of rallying’s best known stars in an instant. Throughout the years however Novikov has built a reputation of being fast, but also making a bit too many mistakes. A small one can be seen here as he turns left instead of right. Evgeny quickly recovered from this but crashed out later on. Losing a good position was one thing, but injuring his experienced co-driver Denis Giraudet was quite another. Giraudet has been driving with Novikov this season and it seems he is the first co-driver to be able to tame the raw talent of Novikov. In doing so, Novikov’s performance has improved greatly this year. However Giraudet’s injury keeps him sidelined at the Deutschland Rally and it remains to be seen if he can recover in time for Wales Rally GB. The loss of his co-driver might prove even more expensive then the damage done his Fiesta.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Overview 12/22
ADAC Rally Deutschland
Based in: Trier Date: 24-26/08/2012 Number of stages: 15 Shortest stage: Circus Maximus – 3.46 km Longest stage: Arena Panzerplatte – 46.54 km Total stage distance: 354 km Surface: Asphalt
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review
he Deutschland Rally marked the return of the season to asphalt stages. After the opening round in Monte Carlo all rallies had been run on gravel or snow roads, but now we are back on the black stuff. Citroen has been dominant on asphalt in the past but Ford comes to the rally with high hopes after extensive and successful testing to improve the car’s sealed surface pace. Mini meanwhile returned with Prodrive entered Spaniard Dani Sordo who displayed the car’s capabilities last year by claiming its maiden podium finish here.
all three of the first loop’s stages. Despite this seemingly dominant display the most impressive feat was actually performed by Ford who had two cars on the remaining two podium spots with Solberg and Latvala, and managed to stay with striking distance of Loeb. The testing efforts were clearly paying off. The second run started even better with Latvala setting the fastest time and nibbling away at Loeb’s lead. Undaunted the Frenchman struck back on the next stage taking nearly 13 seconds out of Latvala’s time. The Fin was baffled and concluded that if he wanted to really challenge Loeb he would need a perfect
“Against him (ed. Loeb) you always have to push 100%!”
- Jari Matti Latvala
The rally is based in Trier and is a merge of three smaller rallies to provide a very diverse course. Weather conditions in the region can also be very changeable increasing the challenge even more. Most of the stage mileage is made up of fast narrow roads through the vineyards around the river Mosel. Loeb being a Frenchman, it is no surprise he loves it here (the fact that his birthplace of Haguenau is just across the border might also have something to do with it!) The Saarland stages are almost entirely gone from the rally and the real decision maker is the Arena Panzerplatte stage on the military grounds near Baumholder. This mammoth of a stage has always been the scene of drama and this year would prove no different.
From the outset Sebastien Loeb set the pace in the rally claiming fastest times on
event. “We were flat out on the last stage, maybe a bit too fast. So I took it a bit easier on this one, but you see what happens, you immediately lose 10 seconds. Against him (ed. Loeb) you always have to push 100%!”. On the final stage of the day Latvala again gave it his 100% and beat Loeb for the second time. A nice fight loomed on the horizon. Although Latvala claimed two stage wins he was not the fastest Ford out there. Solberg had consistently been setting top three stage times and was up to second, some twenty seconds behind Loeb. His Citroen teammate Hirvonen meanwhile was struggling. Pushing too hard he was constantly fighting with the car and failed to get the most out of it. Eventually he found himself down in sixth, behind Citroen and Ford’s junior drivers Neuville and Tänak.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review 14/22
Showers on the opening stage of the second day washed away hopes of a thrilling fight for the lead. The rain came while the first drivers were already into the stage. That favored Loeb as he had a slightly drier stage then the others. At the end the French ace admitted to being ‘a little bit lucky’. Loeb managed to slip and slide through the stage some 20 seconds faster than his nearest rival, doubling his lead in an instant. The following stage, Peterberg, saw only small differences between the drivers as they all headed towards the diamond town of Idar Oberstein for the start of the infamous
Panzerplatte stage. After well over 46 kilometers Loeb and Latvala finished the stage within a second of each other. The Ford has definitily gotten faster and if it wasn’t for those showers in the early morning who knows what might have happened. If… The shock of the day came when Petter Solberg slid wide and hit a hinkelstein. The giant stone damaged his suspension and though he tried to continue, the wheel was eventually ripped of completely. With a 60 km road section ahead Petter had to call it a day. He wasn’t the only one in trouble though. The stage had a sting in the tail as
Thierry Neuville crashed very near the end. Losing control of the car after a small jump he tried to correct it but was ultimately forced to either slide the car into the crowd or into a bunch of logs at the side of the road. Wisely he chose the logs and though nobody got injured it did end his rally. Throughout the day Loeb continued to extend his lead over Latvala who settled into second. After taking it a bit easier than on the first day Hirvonen actually found his times improving as a result. This meant he could climb up to third. The biggest fight was going on behind him for fourth. Mads
Ostberg and Ott Tänak set out on a duel to prove to Ford team boss which of the two youngsters is the fastest driver with Tänak taking two stage wins in the process. On the final stage of the day, the second run of the Panzerplatte, it all went wrong for Tänak though. The man who never seems to smile had no reason to do so here. Perhaps his confidence grew a little too high after two stage wins, whatever it was, Tänak went off and threw away his chances of an excellent fourth place finish.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review He wasnâ€™t the only one in trouble though. After picking up a puncture on the first run through the Panzerplatte, Dani Sordo was charging back up the leader board. He was charging a bit too hard though and went off the road too. Finally Dutchmen Peter van Merksteijn jr. destroyed his chances of landing a sixth place finish by also crashing.
The final day of the rally consisted of two runs through the beautiful Drohntal stage before a short blast through the power stage in down town Trier. Even a couple of nasty showers could not force any further big changes in the leader board. The main event of the day came when Andreas Mikkelsen propelled his Skoda Fabia S2000 car to a stunning third place on the power stage, something no one had ever done before. The early rain showers helped but still it must have impressed his VW bosses and might have added another small plus behind his name in the race for seats in the Polo WRC next year. In the end it was once again the man with number one on his door who claimed the number one spot. The Frenchman, simply amazing, captured his ninth win out of ten starts in Germany and increased his
championship lead to 54 points over his teammate Mikko Hirvonen who finished third. A career-best second (on asphalt) went to Jari Matti Latvala who took a great confidence boost after a disappointing season so far. Despite finishing over two minutes behind Loeb, he showed fighting spirit right after the rally. â€œWe have to remain realistic and understand that there is still a lot of work to do. But I feel confident we can challenge for victory on the remaining two asphalt rallies. Mads Ostberg had a quiet but steady weekend and was rewarded with a fine fourth place ahead of Chris Atkinson. The Aussie took it easy on his first rally in the Mini and was all smiles when he reached the end in the five. To show just how tough this rally is Sebastien Ogier finished in sixth in his Fabia S2000. He should not be able to finish so high up the order in his smaller car but with so many WRC front runners hitting trouble no less than three S2000 cars made it into the top ten (Mikkelsen and Arzeno being the others). Ott TĂ¤nak originally finished in ninth position but opted to retire from the event in order to have more options of changing his engine in the following rounds.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Final results 16/22
Final result 1. Loeb-Elena Citroën DS3 WRC 3.41.52,0 2. Latvala-Antilla Ford Fiesta WRC +2.00,0 3. Hirvonen-Lehtinen Citroën DS3 WRC +2.31,3 4. Ostberg-Andersson Ford Fiesta WRC +3.24,3 5. Atkinson-Prévot Mini John Cooper Works WRC +9.10,4 6. Ogier-Ingrassia Skoda Fabia S2000 +9.50,5 7. Mikkselsn-Floene Skoda Fabia S2000 +12.22,5 8. Al-Attiyah-Bernacchini Citroën DS3 WRC +12.50,1 9. Sordo-Del Barrio Mini John Cooper Works WRC +14.16,9 10. Arzeno-Jamoul Peugeot 207 S2000 +15.20,1
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Standings
Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Sebastien Loeb Mikko Hirvonen Petter Solberg Mads Ostberg Jari-Matti Latvala Evgeny Novikov Martin Prokop Thierry Neuville Dani Sordo Sebastien Ogier
Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Mini John Cooper Works WRC Skoda Fabia S2000
199 points 145 points 104 points 102 points 87 points 55 points 38 points 32 points 31 points 31 points
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Citroën Total World Rally Team 320 points Ford World Rally Team 197 points M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 115 points Qatar World Rally Team 59 points Citroën Junio World Rally Team 54 points Adapta World Rally Team 49 points MINI WRC Team 26 points Brazil World Rally Team 20 points
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Special Stage 18/22
ack in the 90’s the ERC counting Hunsrück Rally was based almost entirely on the military training ground (or ‘truppenübnungsplatz’ as it’s locally known) near Baumholder. Together with the Saarland- and Deutschland Rally, it was merged In this section we highlight one of the special stages of the rally. For the Deutschland rally the in the current WRC counting version of the choice was easy. The Panzerplatte is the longest stage of the rally and provides drama every Deutschland Rally. Throughout the years year. stages from the original Hunsrück Rally have been used in the modern rally. The
Arena Panzerplatte - 46,54 km
truppenübnungsplatz is a huge area with a maze of roads on which stages can be created at will. As the Deutschland Rally evolved, so did the stages in this area. The number of stages here has been decreasing and the last couple of years there has only been one stage. But what a stage it has became. All the best bits of Hunsrück Rally were used to form one of the most grueling stages in the world, the Panzerplatte. This year’s edition comprised a massive 46.54 km of abrasive and very fast roads, made up of concrete blocks sidelined by hinkelsteins. These hinkelsteins can be compared to icebergs as all you is the tip. Underneath the soil they plunge deep into ground to stand vast in case a tank might hit them, that is after all their daily purpose. If the hinkelsteins don’t catch you out, there is always the risk of hitting one of the other huge boulders which are sprinkled across the place. In the middle of the stage is the biggest jump of the rally, Gina (of Fat Bertha as it was called in the old days). This will send the cars flying through the air for 40-50 meters and has seen some spectacular landings (and crashes) in the past. Near the end the stage gets a bit of a Mickey Mouse feel as it twists and turns loops around providing a spectacle for the huge crowds that gather around the turm (the tower overlooking the entire military grounds) every year. The slightly overenthusiastic commentator in this place is a bigger threat for the spectator’s ears than for the drivers on the stage, but there is no time to relax yet. The rough structure of the road and the sheer length of the stage mean it is a brutal experience for the driver, cars and definitely the tires. Even in this last bit, going a few centimeters too wide might cause punctures and hefty time loss in the process.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Special Stage 19/22
As you would expect from a stage like this, it claimed some prominent victims. On the first run through Petter Solberg, Thierry Neuville and Daniel Olivera went off and out for the day. The second run caused some more ado amongst the crowds. After five cars had gone through the commentator announced that next up Dani Sordo had crashed and instead we could expect Ott Tänak to come through next. About a minute later the news came through that Tänak had also gone off so van Merksteijn would be next instead. Or wait, before he could
finish his sentence the message was updated again to inform us that van Merksteijn had also gone off and blocked the stage. Though the crew was ok it took a long a time to clear the road and after waiting for about half an hour most of the spectators left having seen only five cars. But that’s the risk you take by visiting the end of the Panzerplatte, you never know who it will take out before they reach you.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Who’s hot? 20/22
Who’s hot? Chris Atkinson Mini John Cooper Works WRC WRC Team Mini Portugal
hris Atkinson has seen selected outings so far this year, driving both the Ford Fiesta WRC and Citroën DS3 WRC. After recently inking a deal to replace Armindo Araujo in the WRC Team Mini Portugal, the Aussie found himself a member of the select group of drivers to contest a WRC event in each of the three new WRC cars. Having not driven on tarmac since 2008, he knew pushing hard would not bring him too close to the top drivers, but playing it safe just might do the trick. This he did, and the trick was done. As other faltered ‘Atko’ kept his cool to steadily climb the leader board all the way to a solid fifth place, the team’s best finish so far.
ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Who’s not? 21/22
Who’s not? Petter Solberg Ford Fiesta WRC Ford World Rally Team
he season has so far not been great for Ford. After Citroën claimed another 1-2 in Finland, where Ford was expected to do well; the Blue Oval was in dire need for a good result. Although Loeb was dominant as always in Germany, Ford was very much on target for that good result. Extensive tarmac testing was paying off and Solberg and Latvala were in 2nd and 3rd respectively. That was until Petter tackled the Panzerplatte stage, his Waterloo-stage on two previous editions of the rally. This year proved no different as he hit one of the infamous ‘hinkelsteins’. It ripped his right rear suspension and eventually the wheel was completely torn off the car. End of rally for Petter, end of hopes of a good result for Ford.
Next issue early October covering Wales Rally GB Please drop your comments at email@example.com
Words: Steven van Veenendaal; Harry van Veenendaal Images: Steven van Veenendaal; Harry van Veenendaal Copyright: Rally-eMag
The first issue of Rally-eMag covering the 8th and 9th round of the 2012 WRC, Rally Finland and Rally Germany.