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STOP PRESS: Loeb wins in Finland

Sebastien Loeb wins in Finland and beats Jari-Matti Latvala by 8.1 seconds; Sebastien Ogier has to settle for third ahead of Mikko Hirvonen and Petter Solberg.
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb won Rally Finland today, the second time he has triumphed on the '1000 Lakes'.

Loeb began the final loop this afternoon with a 10.8 second cushion, but he immediately gained 6.9 seconds over his closest challenger, team-mate, Sebastien Ogier, when the youngster picked up a front-left puncture in Leustu 2. Without a spare tyre Ogier then had to ease up somewhat and his bid for victory was compromised.

That left Jari-Matti Latvala to take up the mantle and the Finn was quickest in SS18, to close to within 13 seconds of P1 - and to move up to second overall.

Loeb however was still in control, and managed his advantage over the remaining stages, conceding only 0.5 seconds in SS19, 2.2 seconds in SS20 and 1.9 seconds in SS21.

Heading into the event ending 4.19 km Laajavuori Power Stage, Loeb had 8.4 seconds in hand and unsurprisingly he held on and eventually triumphed by 8.1 seconds. The result – his fourth win of the season – allows him to further extend his lead in the drivers' championship, up from 17 points to 27 with five rounds to go.

“This might just be the tastiest victory I've had in my career as we had to fight right until the very end,” Loeb said. “It was important to get more points than Ogier - and at least not to lose against him.”

Latvala meanwhile had to settle for the runners-up spot in front of his home fans, with Ogier completing the rostrum, just 4.7 seconds between them.

“We ran out of road and time,” said Latvala. “I really tried to push hard after we got the settings right [this afternoon], but it just wasn't enough. Naturally I'm disappointed, especially since the spectators were hoping for a win, but this is okay.”

Mikko Hirvonen continued his fantastic recovery drive and ended up fourth. The Finn also took the maximum three bonus points for the Power Stage win, 0.3 seconds up on Latvala. Loeb took the final Power Stage bonus point in third.

Further back Petter Solberg was fifth - and disappointed not to have been on the pace throughout - ahead of M-Sport Stobart trio Mads Ostberg, Henning Solberg and Matt Wilson in positions 6 through to 8. F1 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and SWRC winner Juho Hanninen completed the top ten.

To read the full report - CLICK HERE

To view the latest championship standings - CLICK HERE



Rally Finland: Overall standings after Stage 22 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2hours 39mins 37.0secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 08.1secs M
3. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 12.8secs M
4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 09.1secs M
5. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +01mins 16.2secs M
6. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 27.8secs M
7. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 25.5secs
8. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +03mins 53.2secs M
9. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +03mins 59.8secs M
10. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda Fabia S2000 +05mins 13.7secs S

Others:

11. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 41.3secs M
12. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +07mins 51.4secs S
13. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +08mins 52.0secs S
14. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 47.8secs M
15. PG Andersson Subaru Impreza R4 +09mins 54.7secs
16. Hermann Gassner Jr Skoda Fabia S2000 +11mins 06.3secs S
19. Hayden Paddon Subaru Impreza WRX STi +12mins 20.2secs P
20. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia Mini John Cooper Works +12mins 53.0secs


Rally Finland: Power Stage / SS22 (Top 3):

1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2mins 39.6secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 00.3secs M
3. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 00.6secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point


SWRC standings after Stage 22 (Top 3):

1. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda Fabia S2000 2hours 44mins 50.7secs S
2. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 37.7secs S
3. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 +03mins 38.3secs S


PWRC standings after Stage 22 (Top 3):

1. Hayden Paddon Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2hours 51mins 57.2secs P
2. Jarkko Nikara Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +00mins 40.2secs P
3. Patrik Flodin Subaru Impreza WRX STi +01mins 07.7secs P


Notable retirements:

SS2. Matti Rantanen Mini John Cooper Works Off the road

SS4. Mattias Therman Mini John Cooper Works Off the road*
SS8. Jari Ketomaa HJ-Autotalo.com Ford Fiesta RS WRC Off the road
SS8. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Stopped*
SS8. Joonas Lindroos VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 Off the road

SS16/17. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Oil pressure
SS18. Andreas MikkelsenVW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 Mechanical
SS20. Kris Meeke Mini WRT John Cooper Works Engine
SS21. Dani Sordo Mini WRT John Cooper Works Engine

* denotes re-started under SupeRally


all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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Chris - Unregistered

July 30, 2011 6:47 PM

Good effort from Loeb and Citroen. I think that ties Citroen and Ford as the winningest manufacturer. That it happened on Malcolm's watch is a disgrace. Yet further, does anyone know if Hapless' cash runs out after Finland? If yes, it would bring the curtain down on a truly glittering career and he richly deserves the title of worst driver of his generation.

bojan - Unregistered

July 30, 2011 8:43 PM

Great performance again from Loeb, to win despite silly starting order rules. And a great drive too by Hirvonen, I had begun to think he had lost the plot since 2009 but he did himself and Ford proud this time.



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