Japan - leg 2: Mikko closes on second win of year.

Manfred Stohl rounds out the top six in his OMV Kronos-run Citroen Xsara WRC, having lost ground and dropped behind Companc and Wilson following mechanical problems in SS14.

Further down the order, Munchi's #2 driver Federico Villagra looks set to get two points, while Katsuhiko Taguchi is eighth and on course not only to take the Group N win, but the final 'senior' WRC point too.

Of the rest, Loeb and Latvala weren't the only two 'works' drivers to have problems, as Xavier Pons also went off the road. The Spaniard lost it in SS12 and beached his Impreza WRC car. Although the car was undamaged he couldn't continue.

Pons' exit meant only Petter Solberg remained to fly the flag for the Subaru World Rally team on its home event. Despite being well down the order though after gear selection problems put him out on day 1, 'Hollywood' set some very competitive times - including taking four stage wins. He hauled himself up from 64th place to 24th by the end of the leg.

Chris Atkinson and Marcus Gronholm both retired on Friday too, like Petter, however they were not able to restart as their cars were too badly damaged. Gronholm damaged his roll cage in his off in SS4, while Atkinson had quite a sizeable off in SS6.

In the FIA Production Car WRC category, Gabriel Pozzo leads by more than 1.5 minutes after Fumio Nutahara had problems this morning.

Takuma Kamada heads the chasing pack, with Leszek Kuzaj third followed by Armindo Araujo, Evgeniy Vertunov and Mark Higgins.

Runaway PWRC championship leader, Toshi Arai ended the day outside of the PWRC points in 12th after his problems on day 1 in SS7.

The action now resumes on Sunday - seven more stages lay in wait, totally around 97 competitive kilometres.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. Rally Japan. 26-28th October 2007.
Daniel Sordo (ESP) / Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rally Japan. 26-28th October 2007.
Henning Solberg (NOR) / Cato Menkerud (NOR), Stobart Ford Focus WRC 06. Rally Japan. 26-28th October 2007.
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) - Martin Jarveoja (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, Drive Dmack Trophy Team
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
Quentin Gilbert  (FRA) - Renaud Jamoul (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, Team Oreca
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5

Start 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.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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