WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland – Leader board after Day One

01) S. Loeb/D. Elena (Citroen DS3) – 20min 17.5sec
02) S. Ogier/J. Ingrassia (Citroen DS3) – 20min 20.3sec
03) J-M. Latvala/M. Anttila (Ford Fiesta RS) – 20min 21.9sec 04) J. Ketomaa/M. Stenberg (Ford Fiesta RS) – 20min 24.5sec
05) P. Solberg/C. Patterson (Citroen DS3) – 20min 30.1sec
06) D. Sordo/C. Del Barrio (Mini John Cooper) – 20min 31.8sec 07) O. Tänak/K. Sikk (Ford Fiesta S2000) – 20min 34.8sec
08) M. Østberg/J. Andersson (Ford Fiesta RS) – 20min 36.1sec 09) K. Meeke/P. Nagle (Mini John Cooper) – 20min 38.4sec
10) J. Hanninen/M. Markkula (Skoda Fabia S2000) – 20min 43.3sec

WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland – Day One Wrap

As a result the Citroen DS3 WRC ace, world champion for the past seven seasons, will be forced to sweep a clean line through the loose surface gravel for his rivals on Friday’s stages when he is set to drop time.
Loeb, from France, sealed his fate with the fastest time on stage two, the classification after which was used to determine the starting order for Friday. “I’ve made no mistakes and we will see what will happen tomorrow with the road position,” said Loeb, who underlined his impressive start to the rally by claiming his second stage victory on the day’s final run, Laajavouri. Continue reading WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland – Day One Wrap

Wilks and Pugh to make up for Azores woe

Guy Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh have vowed to hit back from the disappointment of retirement on Sata Rallye Açores last week when the Intercontinental Rally Challenge resumes on Barum Czech Rally Zlín at the end of August.

The Peugeot UK aces were in sixth overall when they hit trouble on the first run through the event’s signature stage, Sete Cidades, on day two of the rally. In heavy rain and fog, Wilks was unable to spot a patch of standing water on a corner and slid into a bank, breaking his car’s right-side suspension arm in the process. Continue reading Wilks and Pugh to make up for Azores woe

Bouffier to fight back from Ypres exclusion

Bryan Bouffier has refused to give up on his dream of winning the Intercontinental Rally Challenge title following his exclusion from the GEKO Ypres Rally, round five of the series, last month.

Bouffier and co-driver Xavier Panseri finished second overall on the challenging asphalt rally in Belgium aboard their Peugeot France 207 Super 2000. However, post-event technical checks revealed the car’s steering contravened FIA regulations due to an error in assembly. Continue reading Bouffier to fight back from Ypres exclusion

Flat-out jumps in Estonia a good Finnish test

Mads Osteberg - Picture by Krišs Karnītis.

Rally Estonia is a new event on Europe’s rally map. Well at least in name, as these roads in southern Estonia have been used for many years in national rallies. And, it seems like Rally Estonia has found its international niche as a good preparation round for WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland.

The international auto24 Rally Estonia entry list drew 77 cars, 70 cars in the national field and seven historics, bringing to the total number of cars driving through the stages to more than 150. Continue reading Flat-out jumps in Estonia a good Finnish test

Pirelli-supported WRC Academy set for high-speed Finnish stages

A little more than two months since the FIA WRC Academy intake was last in action, the young driver training series resumes this week with the fastest event of them all, Neste Oil Rally Finland (28-30 July).

Based in the university city of Jyväskylä in the centre of the country, Rally Finland represents a huge test of commitment for the sport’s future stars as they drive flat-out over high-speed, tree-lined stages, where blind crests are commonplace. Continue reading Pirelli-supported WRC Academy set for high-speed Finnish stages

HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS at the Ford “Happy Hour”

Ford Happy Hour at WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland - Picture by Eva Kovkova for Handbrakes & Hairpins.

Photojournalist Eva Kovkova captured this moments at Ford’s media “Happy Hour” on Wednesday evening in Jyväskylä, Finland, an event for media and Ford WRC personnel to meet and greet. Ahead of the WRC Neste Oil Rlaly Finland, Jari-Matti Latvala will take his 100th career WRC start. Enjoy these image from the “Happy Hour!”

Ford Happy Hour at WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland - Picture by Eva Kovkova for Handbrakes & Hairpins.
Ford Happy Hour at WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland - Picture by Eva Kovkova for Handbrakes & Hairpins.
Ford Happy Hour at WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland - Picture by Eva Kovkova for Handbrakes & Hairpins.
Ford Happy Hour at WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland - Picture by Eva Kovkova for Handbrakes & Hairpins.