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Finland - leg 3: Gronholm sets new WRC record.

In the Junior Rally Championship category, Patrik Sandell took the class win, finishing more than a minute up on fellow Renault Clio R3 runner, Kalle Pinomaki.

Michal Kosciuszko completed the JRC podium in his Suzuki Swift, with Conrad Rautenbach fourth and Tapio Suominen fifth.

Citroen's Martin Prokop had dominated the JRC category on day one, but he went off the road on Saturday in SS14 and retired.

A number of drivers' had problems during this event and of the 'works' aces, four failed to make it to the end, namely Jari-Matti Latvala, Manfred Stohl, Daniel Sordo and Petter Solberg.

Latvala was the first 'works' retirement, when he went off the road on Friday in SS7. He had won the first proper test of the event and led post-SS2, until a mistake in SS3 which dropped him down the order. He then tried to put in a charge, which worked until a mistake in Palsankyla. He was unable to re-start under the SupeRally as his off damaged the safety roll cage on his Stobart Ford Focus.

On Saturday, three more 'big' names joined Latvala on the sidelines. Stohl rolled his Kronos-run Citroen Xsara WRC in SS13, while Sordo stopped in SS15 when his Citroen C4 developed an engine problem.

Petter pulled out after SS15 due to severe handling problems, similar to what he experienced in the first loop on Friday. Indeed they were so bad on day one that 'Hollywood' was reduced to tears as he was just so frustrated with it, noting that it felt impossible to drive. Although Subaru managed to fix the problems then, the issue - or issues - reoccurred on Saturday and this time the team couldn't sort it out. Subaru opted not to re-start him on Sunday and instead the car was sent back to their base in the UK to try and figure out what was wrong with it.

Other retirees included Kristian Sohlberg, who rolled in the first proper test, as well as Anton Alen and Skoda privateer, Jan Kopecky – both going out on the final day, the latter after an off in SS21.

The FIA World Rally Championship now continues in two weeks time, when competitors head to Germany for the Rallye Deutschland - the tenth round in the series, which runs from August 17-19.

Loeb has won the event in Germany every single year since 2002 and will be determined to bounce back after the Gronholm-Ford master class this weekend in Finland.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marcus Gronholm (FIN) / Timo Rautiainen (FIN) BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07. Rally Finland, August 2-5 2007 [PIC CREDIT: Ford/worldralypics.com]
Marcus Gronholm (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. Acropolis Rally of Greece, 31st May - 3rd June 2007.
Marcus Gronholm (FIN) / Timo Rautiainen (FIN) BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07. Rally Finland, August 2-5 2007 [PIC CREDIT: Ford/worldralypics.com]
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT

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