2008 Rally Finland

The 58th Rally Finland, the ninth rally of the 2008 World Rally Championship season took place between July 31 and August 3, 2008. The event was the first rally held after a six-week mid season break. The rally was based in the city of Jyväskylä in the centre of Finland with the special stages held on fast gravel roads in the lake district area of the country.[1] The winner was the reigning world champion Sébastien Loeb, who became only the fourth non Scandinavian driver to win the event in fifty-eight runnings. It was his sixth win of the season and reduced the gap in the championship standings between himself and Finland's Mikko Hirvonen to just one point. Hirvonen finished in second, with Chris Atkinson taking the third podium spot for the Subaru World Rally Team.

2008 Rally Finland
58th Neste Oil Rally Finland
Round 9 of the 2008 World Rally Championship
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2008 Rally Finland friday service 07.JPG
Sebastien Loeb driving out from service at Jyväskylä.
Host country Finland
Rally baseJyväskylä, Finland
Dates runJuly 31 – August 3, 2008
Stages24 (340.42 km; 211.53 miles)
Stage surfaceGravel
Overall distance1,461.58 km (908.18 miles)
Results
Overall winnerFrance Sébastien Loeb
Citroën Total World Rally Team
Crews108 at start, 68 at finish

EventEdit

Day oneEdit

The event started with a short superspecial stage on Thursday evening - which was won by Sébastien Loeb - before the first full day of action on Friday. The first stage on Friday demonstrated the competitive nature of the rally, with Loeb and Hirvonen setting identical times, and Jari-Matti Latvala only finishing three seconds behind them. However, Latvala was the first big casualty, hitting a rock on SS3 and damaging the suspension - an accident that put him out for the day and angered his Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson (rally).[2] Meanwhile, Loeb was eking out a narrow advantage by winning every special stage until SS8. Hirvonen was also driving flat out and matched Loeb's time on SS6 and took his first outright stage win on the 7.86 mile test at Urria. At the end of day one, Loeb had built up a useful lead of 14.4 seconds, although Hirvonen had not given up hope. Behind the two leaders saw a three way battle between the two Stobart Ford drivers, Henning Solberg and Gigi Galli, and Loeb's teammate Dani Sordo. These three were covered by only twelve seconds. The two Subaru World Rally Team drivers, Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson were having their own private battle, just over ninety seconds behind the leader. Suzuki's Per-Gunnar Andersson was in the final points paying position despite suffering a huge spin on SS2. Impressive performances were made by privateers Urmo Aava and Andreas Mikkelsen, with both featuring in the points earlier on day one - Aava was third after SS4 with Mikkelsen in fifth.[3] However they both crashed out near the end of day one - Aava in SS9 and Mikkelsen in SS10.[4]

Day twoEdit

The battle between Loeb and Hirvonen continued throughout day two with the pair regularly setting fastest times. They were opening up a big lead to the drivers behind them, with Hirvonen describing the pace as "crazy...how much longer can this go on for, I don't know.[5]" By the end of the day Loeb had pulled out another four seconds to take his lead to eighteen seconds. Most of this time was gained when Hirvonen stalled at the start of SS20.[6] Behind the leaders, Gigi Galli had been drawing away in the battle for third before an accident in the Kakaristo stage (which was a truncated and reversed version of Ouninpohja) put him out of the rally. After Galli, PG Andersson also rolled at the same corner. The main mover of the day was Subaru driver Chris Atkinson who leapt from seventh to third on the leaderboard by the end of day two. Dani Sordo was only a second behind in fourth but was having to be cautious in order to score manufacturer points. Henning Solberg was slipping back in fifth place while his brother Petter was one place behind in sixth. Privateer driver Matti Rantanen had moved up to seventh due to the retirements of others and Toni Gardemeister was keeping his Suzuki in the points despite having problems with his gearbox.

Day threeEdit

ResultsEdit

 
Mikko Hirvonen finished second, only 9 seconds behind winner Loeb.
Pos. Driver Co-driver Car Time Difference Points
WRC
1.   Sébastien Loeb   Daniel Elena Citroën C4 WRC 2:54:05.5 0.0 10
2.   Mikko Hirvonen   Jarmo Lehtinen Ford Focus RS WRC 2007 2:54:14.5 +9.0 8
3.   Chris Atkinson   Stéphane Prévot Subaru Impreza WRC 2008 2:57:22.5 +3:17.0 6
4.   Dani Sordo   Marc Marti Citroën C4 WRC 2:57:36.4 +3:30.9 5
5.   Henning Solberg   Cato Menkerud Ford Focus RS WRC 2007 2:58:03.2 +3:57.7 4
6.   Petter Solberg   Phill Mills Subaru Impreza WRC 2008 2:58:09.6 +4:04.1 3
7.   Matti Rantanen   Jan Lönegren Ford Focus RS WRC 2006 3:00:16.6 +6:11.1 2
8.   Toni Gardemeister   Tomi Tuominen Suzuki SX4 WRC 3:02:24.2 +8:18.7 1
JWRC
1. (21.)   Martin Prokop   Jan Tománek Citroën C2 S1600 3:17:52.2 0.0 10
2. (22.)   Patrik Sandell   Emil Axelsson Renault Clio S1600 3:18:09.7 +17.5 8
3. (23.)   Michal Kosciuszko   Maciek Szczepaniak Suzuki Swift S1600 3:19:26.9 +1:34.7 6
4. (29.)   Aaron Nikolai Burkart   Michael Koelbach Citroën C2 S1600 3:26:24.7 +8:32.5 5
5. (31.)   Shaun Gallagher   Paul Kiely Citroën C2 S1600 3:29:36.6 +11:44.4 4
6. (34.)   Kevin Abbring   Erwin Mombaerts Renault Clio R3 3:32:23.9 +14:31.7 3
7. (35.)   Gilles Schammel   Renaud Jamoul Renault Clio R3 3:35:40.1 +17:47.9 2
8. (41.)   Hans Weijs Jr.   Hans Van Goor Citroën C2 R2 3:40:30.9 +22:38.7 1
PWRC
1. (13.)   Juho Hänninen   Mikko Markkula Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:08:38.1 0.0 10
2. (14.)   Patrik Flodin   Göran Bergsten Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:11:08.3 +2:30.2 8
3. (15.)   Jussi Välimäki   Jarkko Kalliolepo Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:11:51.7 +3:13.6 6
4. (17.)   Jari Ketomaa   Miika Teiskonen Subaru Impreza WRX STI 3:13:53.6 +5:15.5 5
5. (18.)   Oscar Svedlund   Björn Nilson Subaru Impreza WRX STI 3:14:40.5 +6:02.4 4
6. (24.)   Fumio Nutahara   Daniel Barritt Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:21:41.6 +13:03.5 3
7. (25.)   Jussi Tiippana   Marko Salminen Subaru Impreza WRX STI 3:22:01.1 +13:23.0 2
8. (28.)   Evgeny Aksakov   Aleksander Kornilov Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:26:10.7 +17:32.6 1

Special stagesEdit

All dates and times are EEST (UTC+3).

Day Stage Time Name Length Winner Time Avg. spd. Rally leader
1
(31 JUL/1 AUG)
SS1 19:45 Killeri 1 2.06 km   S. Loeb 1:20.5 92.1 km/h   S. Loeb
SS2 07:30 Vellipohja 1 17.16 km   S. Loeb
  M. Hirvonen
8:16.9 124.3 km/h
SS3 08:26 Mokkipera 1 11.38 km   S. Loeb 5:30.5 124.0 km/h
SS4 09:09 Palsankyla 1 13.90 km   S. Loeb 7:12.7 115.6 km/h
SS5 11:47 Vellipohja 2 17.16 km   S. Loeb 8:09.9 126.1 km/h
SS6 12:43 Mokkipera 2 11.38 km   S. Loeb
  M. Hirvonen
5:28.8 124.6 km/h
SS7 13:26 Palsankyla 2 13.90 km   S. Loeb 7:07.8 117.0 km/h
SS8 16:18 Urria 12.65 km   M. Hirvonen 6:00.5 126.3 km/h
SS9 16:50 Lautapera 7.87 km   S. Loeb 3:52.4 121.9 km/h
SS10 17:29 Jukojarvi 22.18 km   S. Loeb 10:37.2 125.3 km/h
SS11 20:00 Killeri 2 2.06 km   S. Loeb 1:20.0 92.7 km/h
2
(2 AUG)
SS12 07:13 Himos 15.35 km   M. Hirvonen 8:37.3 106.8 km/h
SS13 08:09 Hirvimaki 10.67 km   S. Loeb 5:47.7 110.5 km/h
SS14 08:34 Surkee 1 14.80 km   S. Loeb 8:03.4 110.2 km/h
SS15 10:46 Leustu 21.43 km   M. Hirvonen 10:12.4 126.0 km/h
SS16 11:45 Kakaristo 1 20.09 km   J. Latvala 10:43.2 112.4 km/h
SS17 12:26 Kaipolanvuori 13.64 km   J. Latvala 7:06.6 115.1 km/h
SS18 13:31 Surkee 2 14.80 km   S. Loeb 7:55.9 112.0 km/h
SS19 16:13 Kakaristo 2 20.09 km   M. Hirvonen 10:34.7 113.0 km/h
SS20 17:03 Juupajoki 21.13 km   J. Latvala 10:57.4 115.7 km/h
SS21 17:56 Väärinmaja 16.25 km   S. Loeb 8:22.5 116.4 km/h
3
(3 AUG)
SS22 09:38 Lankamaa 23.09 km   M. Hirvonen
  S. Loeb
11:11.0 123.9 km/h
SS23 10:44 Hannula 10.92 km   J. Latvala 5:43.8 114.3 km/h
SS24 12:02 Ruuhimaki 6.46 km   P. Solberg 3:12.9 120.6 km/h

Championship standings after the eventEdit

Drivers' championshipEdit

Pos Driver MON
 
SWE
 
MEX
 
ARG
 
JOR
 
ITA
 
GRC
 
TUR
 
FIN
 
GER
 
NZL
 
ESP
 
FRA
 
JPN
 
GBR
 
 Pts 
1   Mikko Hirvonen 2 2 4 5 1 2 3 1 2 67
2   Sébastien Loeb 1 Ret. 1 1 10 1 1 3 1 66
3   Chris Atkinson 3 21 2 2 3 6 Ret. 13 3 37
4   Dani Sordo 11 6 17 3 2 5 5 4 4 35
5   Jari-Matti Latvala 12 1 3 15 7 3 7 2 39 34
6   Petter Solberg 5 4 12 Ret. Ret. 10 2 6 6 23
7   Henning Solberg 9 13 5 Ret. 4 7 8 5 5 20
8   Gigi Galli 6 3 Ret. 7 8 4 Ret. Ret. Ret. 17
9   Matthew Wilson 10 Ret. 6 Ret. 5 12 6 7 9 12
10   Federico Villagra 7 6 6 14 13 9 Ret. 8
11   Conrad Rautenbach Ret. 16 16 4 26 13 10 8 10 6
  Urmo Aava 18 Ret. 8 4 Ret. 16 6
13   François Duval 4 5
14   Andreas Mikkelsen 5 Ret. 19 12 4
15   Toni Gardemeister Ret. 7 Ret. Ret. Ret. Ret. 9 Ret. 8 3
16   Jean-Marie Cuoq 7 2
  Matti Rantanen 7 2
18   Per-Gunnar Andersson 8 Ret. Ret. 24 Ret. 9 11 Ret. Ret. 1
  Juho Hänninen 8 13 1
  Sébastien Ogier 8 11 22 1
  Andreas Aigner 31 8 14 11 Ret. 1
Pos Driver MON
 
SWE
 
MEX
 
ARG
 
JOR
 
ITA
 
GRC
 
TUR
 
FIN
 
GER
 
NZL
 
ESP
 
FRA
 
JPN
 
GBR
 
Pts
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Black Excluded (EX)
Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Cancelled (C)
Blank Withdrew entry from
the event (WD)

Manufacturers' championshipEdit

Rank Team Event Total
points
MON
 
SWE
 
MEX
 
ARG
 
JOR
 
ITA
 
GRC
 
TUR
 
FIN
 
GER
 
NZL
 
ESP
 
FRA
 
JPN
 
GBR
 
1   BP Ford World Rally Team 8 18 11 7 13 14 10 18 9 - - - - - - 108
2   Citroën Total World Rally Team 11 4 10 16 9 14 15 11 15 - - - - - - 105
3   Subaru World Rally Team 10 6 9 8 6 3 8 3 9 - - - - - - 62
4   Stobart M-Sport Ford 8 8 3 3 7 5 3 4 4 - - - - - - 45
5   Munchi's Ford World Rally Team 0 0 6 4 4 2 0 3 0 - - - - - - 19
6   Suzuki World Rally Team 2 3 0 1 0 1 3 0 2 - - - - - - 12

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "World Rally Championship - Rallies - Neste Oil Rally Finland". wrc.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Wilson bemoans Latvala's crash". autosport.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  3. ^ "Loeb holds rally lead after SS4". wrc.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  4. ^ "Loeb extends lead at end of day one". autosport.com. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  5. ^ "Hirvonen stunned by 'crazy' pace". autosport.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  6. ^ "Start line stall costs Hirvonen on SS20". wrc.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13.

External linksEdit