WRC »

STOP PRESS: Hirvonen wins in Finland

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen won the Neste Oil Rally Finland today, to take his first victory on home soil - and his third in succession after also triumphing in Poland and Greece.

Hirvonen, who took the lead in the first 'proper' test on day 1, enjoyed a good scrap with arch championship rival, Sebastien Loeb. However on day 2 he managed to pull ahead and when Loeb picked up a puncture in SS15, the Frenchman was forced to admit defeat and settle for second.

Hirvonen eventually won by 25.1 seconds and the result extends his lead in the battle for the 2009 WRC drivers' title. The 29-year-old will now go to the Rally Australia at the start of next month with a 3 point cushion over Loeb.

Jari-Matti Latvala meanwhile took a confidence boosting third, despite suffering with an upset stomach on Saturday. Dani Sordo was next up, having been overhauled by Latvala in SS16. He eventually finished more than 15 seconds further back.

Matti Rantanen held on to take fifth on his 'guest' outing with the Munchi's Ford squad, narrowly holding off a late challenge from Sebastien Ogier, who was just 0.3 seconds behind after the final test. Jari Ketomaa and Britain's Matthew Wilson completed the points' scorers.

There were a number of retirements, including Conrad Rautenbach, who crashed out in the penultimate stage today.

Rautenbach's Citroen Junior team-mate, Evgeny Novikov also failed to finish, crashing out on day 1 and day 2, whilst engine problems stopped Petter Solberg prior to SS14. Like Novikov, Petter had re-joined on day 2 under the SupeRally after an off on Friday.

Ferrari F1 star, Kimi Raikkonen was another of the high profile Rally Finland casualties. His run came to an end on Saturday, when he went off the road in the leg's final test. He had put in an impressive performance though, and was running third in his class and 15th overall just before his exit. Mads Ostberg, who had been in P7 overall, also crashed out in SS19, the 29.29 kilometre Vaarinmaja test - the longest of the event.

Full report and result to follow...



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


ForzaCockermouth

August 02, 2009 11:28 AM

Top result by Mikko, and a great result by Jarri. But I think the real star of this rally was Matti Rantanen. 5th Overall in only his second go in a WR Car? (correct me if I am wrong) Much as I am not against Matt Wilson, or Henning maybe Matti Rantanen would do a better job in a Stobart car than either those two? Good weekend for Ford anyhow. Can Mikko be champ this year? I wonder... :?

Mark Chambers - Unregistered

August 02, 2009 1:38 PM

Well Done Mikko !! I am glad Mikko has won through his own performance and driving skill rather than Seb crashing out and in effect handing the win down to him. I think Mikko's confidence will be extremely high now and this is now going to be a very close season!!! Jari will also have built up his confidence a little now too and hopefully we'll start seeing plenty of Ford 1,2 finishes!!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.