Loeb's lead cut, Hirvonen charges

“The car is perfect and I think my driving is pretty clean,” Neuville commented. “I'm just going to have to push a bit harder though if I want to avoid dropping back.”

Ott Tanak is seventh, with Chris Atkinson, Jari Ketomaa and Matti Rantanen rounding out the top-ten. Atkinson had intercom problems, while Ketomaa reported that his engine was misfiring in SS5.

“We were struggling a bit with the set-up on the first stage this morning [SS4],” Tanak said. “The car was too low at the back and it was touching the road a lot and killing the speed. But we made some adjustments and made the car a bit higher for the second one [SS5] and it was OK.

“The second stage was very loose and for sure at the moment we are not in the perfect position. But maybe if we get some rain this afternoon it will get better for us. We are not pushing, but the feeling is OK so we will see how this afternoon goes.”

Tanak's team-mate, Evgeny Novikov was running ahead and in fifth until he rolled his Fiesta RS WRC 14.6 kilometres into SS5. He then limped to the end of the test and is now trying to make his way back to service.

“On the first stage [SS4] there was nothing special. We had a big jump over the crest with a heavy landing and Denis [Giraudet – my co-driver] hurt his back a bit, but he is OK. Then on the second stage [SS5] we were driving at the same speed. We were pushing on a very fast corner – I remember it well from the recce – but I was too fast. I put the car sideways and at the end of the corner we were half a metre short and I couldn't get the car straight,” Novikov explained. “We rolled two times, but we will fight to keep going and I hope the car will be OK for the next loop.”

As for the support categories, Esapekka Lappi continues to lead the SWRC - 13.8 seconds up on Hayden Paddon, who finished SS5 with his car running on three cylinders, while Elfyn Evans now enjoys a commanding lead in the WRC Academy after Alastair Fisher hit problems in SS5.

Rally Finland now continues with a loop of three stages, beginning at 11.28 hours local time [09.28 hours UK time] with the first run through the 11.38 km Mokkipera 1 test, SS6.

Rally Finland: Overall standings after Stage 5 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 31mins 43.8secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 04.4secs M
3. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 12.3secs M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 12.4secs M
5. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 15.8secs M
6. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 19.4secs M
7. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 36.3secs M
8. Chris Atkinson Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 39.6secs M
9. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 56.4secs
10. Matti Rantanen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 14.0secs


11. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 14.8secs
12. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +01mins 35.3secs
13. Esapekka Lappi Ford Fiesta S2000 +01mins 36.4secs S
14. Hayden Paddon Skoda Fabia S2000 +01mins 50.2secs S
15. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 00.1secs
16. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +02mins 05.2secs
17. P-G Andersson Proton Satria Neo S2000 +02mins 07.1secs S

SWRC standings after Stage 5 - Top 3:

1. Esapekka Lappi Ford Fiesta S2000 33mins 20.2secs S
2. Hayden Paddon Skoda Fabia S2000 +00mins 13.8secs S
3. P-G Andersson Proton Satria Neo S2000 +00mins 30.7secs S

Notable retirements:


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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