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Cleared For Immediate Take-Off For The Second Half Of The Season!
Posted by: newsla on Jul 25, 2014 - 03:40 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Cleared For Immediate Take-Off For The Second Half Of The Season!


CITROËN AND RALLY FINLAND: FOUR WINS SINCE 1962

Back when the Swedes were the only drivers that could compete with the Finns at their home event, Citroën enjoyed its first win at the “1,000 Lakes Rally” in 1962 when local drivers Pauli Toivonen and Jaakko Kallio secured victory in a DS19. Twenty six years later, another Citroën claimed overall victory in Jyväskylä… World Champions Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena racked up their first win here in 2008 (C4 WRC), before repeating the feat in 2011 and 2012 (DS3 WRC).

 

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THE HUNT FOR PURE SPEED

The “Finland Grand Prix” is the fastest event on the World Championship calendar. When they won here in 2012, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena set an all-time record with an average speed of 122.89kph!

“At speeds like that, you need a lot of experience to be among the leaders,” emphasized Marek Nawarecki, Deputy Team Principal. ”Having appeared in Finland eight times before, Mads will be competing at one of his favourite rallies. Kris also knows this rally very well, having made six starts here already and having competed in one of our DS3 WRCs last year. This experience will help our drivers to get up to speed straight away. The goal is the same as ever, we will be trying to secure podium finishes. With all the work done so far this season, Mads and Kris feel comfortable in the DS3 WRC. The second half of the season will give us the opportunity to turn their good form into results.”

“Technically speaking, the Finnish route calls for great precision in the set-up of the cars. It’s a very complicated rally to win,”admitted Didier Clément, the DS3 WRC’s Chief Operations Engineer. “It took us several years before we managed to win here. You need to know the course very well and avoid making even the slightest mistake. It’s a sprint from start to finish and there is virtually no chance of making up any time lost though mistakes.”

To prepare for this round, a test session has been scheduled just before recce: “Nothing is left to chance. More so than elsewhere, the drivers must be able to feel confident in the car. It has to be particularly responsive. Usually, we always look for a balanced set-up, an effective compromise. In Finland, above all else, you need pure speed!”

During these tests, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will also be preparing for the future. Michelin will be providing new tyres, which will be making their competitive bow at this rally. The DS3 WRCs will also be equipped with several upgrades as part of the development programme initiated for 2015.

MADS ØSTBERG CONSTANTLY IMPROVING

Since his first appearance at Rally Finland in 2006, when he was only 18 years old, Mads Østberg has improved his results year by year. Seventh in 2010, he finished sixth in 2011, fifth in 2012 and was third in 2013!

”Experience is the key to going quickly on all of the stages. Having competed here eight times before means I have acquired the confidence you need. It is also one of my favourite events. I think that came across last year,” emphasized Mads. “You also need a car with a perfect set-up so you can commit fully to the course, no holds barred. Pace notes will also be important to be able to attack the jumps confidently. I’m expecting it to be a good fight. We’ll need to go at a strong pace from start to finish to try and keep moving up in the overall standings, which is what I have managed to do every year since my first appearance here!”

BACK TO FINLAND FOR KRIS MEEKE

At his very first rally in the DS3 WRC, Kris Meeke made a very strong impression at the 2013 Rally Finland. Lying fifth overall with just two stages to go, the Briton had shown his skills in adapting to the extremely quick roads. “I had set some second- and third-fastest times in the first two days of the rally,” he recalled. “But I lacked a bit of consistency in order to stay in touch with the leaders.”

This time around, Kris feels even better equipped: “The second half of the season is going to be really different. I’m going to be driving at events that I am already familiar with, and I’m hoping that my experience will count. This will be particularly the case in Finland: at such high speeds, you need perfect lines. The steering wheel isn‘t much use when your wheels are flying through the air!”

“We’ll still be working, the day before recce. We are going to prepare for the rally in the best possible way,” enthused the British driver. “If everything goes well, we should be able to fight for a top-three spot… but I know there are a lot of guys vying to finish on the podium!”

FROM HELSINKI TO JYVÄSKYLÄ

Mads Østberg will arrive in the Finnish capital on 26 July for the Rally Helsinki Battle. This friendly event will kick off a fast-paced week. On a track set up in the Hietalahti district of the city, six World Championship drivers will be joined by past rally greats such as Markku Alen, Marcus Grönholm, Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Mäkinen. Huge crowds are expected at the event, with tens of thousands of fans coming to see their heroes in action!

Two days later, all the crews will begin recce, which will conclude on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday morning, between 8am and 11.30am, the competitors will be taking part in the shakedown located in Laajavuori, on a 4.19 kilometre stage, partly on tarmac.

The rally will get underway at 3pm with three gravel stages to the north east of Jyväskylä. Two runs on Lankamaa (23.44km – 4.08pm/7.07pm) will be split with the Jouhtikylä test (10.36km – 5.21pm). The day will conclude with Harju (2.27km – 8.30pm), a special stage held on tarmac in Jyväskylä which has not featured in the rally for sixteen years.

With the same starting order, parc ferme will be open at 7.30am on Friday for a loop of four stages held on roads to the south of the city. Pihlajakoski (14.51km – 9.18am) will be making its return to the itinerary after a 27 year-long absence. Päijälä (23.38km – 10.26am) will follow with the opening part of the stage never having been previously used in the World Championship. Then crews will then take on Kakaristo (20.51km – 11.24am), a shortened version of Ouninpohja, before heading back to the Service Park via Painaa (7.70km – 12.42pm). The crews will tackle the same stages again in the afternoon after the service period (at 3.56pm, 5.04pm, 6.02pm and 7.20pm) before another sprint on Harju (8.30pm).

The action will get underway on Saturday morning at 7am with two sections of five very well known stages. Mökkiperä (13.84km – 8.08am and 3.20pm) will be run in the opposite direction to usual, before the itinerary returns to the exact same format as last year: Jukojärvi (21.93km – 9.06am and 4.18pm), Surkee (14.95km – 10.43am and 5.55pm), Himos (4.45km – 12.11pm and 7.23pm) and Leustu (10.01km – 12.44pm and 7.56pm). The leg will conclude with a service period starting at 9.06pm.

The short final leg, featuring just 36 kilometres of timed sections, will take the crews to Ruuhimäki (6.79km – 9.25am), famous for its succession of jumps, and then onto the narrow roads of Myhinpää (23.02km – 10.43am) before the Power Stage, Ruuhimäki 2, is broadcast live on television from 1.08pm onwards. The rally is scheduled to finish at the Jyväskylä Paviljonki at 3pm.


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Also in WRC Rally News 2010:



 
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