Fri 08:54 - Stage info: SS4
Jukojärvi, 21.24km. An opening 7.6km section, which contains a monster jump at 4.9km and was driven for the first time last year, leads into familiar roads. Once it joins the usual route, the rhythm changes several times and there are stones lurking by the roadside which demand precision. The final 13km are blisteringly fast, especially the section from 17.50km - 19.50km which Mikko Hirvonen says requires just one dab of the brakes!
Fri 08:54 - Up next: SS4
Leading crews lining up at the start of Jukojärvi. Ogier's start time: 0902hrs
Fri 08:36 - Finland WRC2 after SS3
1.Lappi 12m17.0s, 2.Suninen +5.5s, 3.Evans +7.7s, 4.Tidemand +8.5s, 5.Solberg +11.3s
Fri 08:32 - SS3: WRC 2 Pedder
"A big spin on the first stage cost us two minutes. We have problems at the rear of the car."
Fri 08:28 - SS3: WRC 2 Kruuda
"Fairly okay. I lost time with pace notes that were too slow. I expect to get better on the next stage."
Fri 08:27 - SS3: WRC 2 Gilbert
"More grip here than the previous one."
Fri 08:26 - SS3: WRC 2 Lappi
Quickest so far in WRC 2 and sounding extremely relaxed. "Quite okay. A new stage so steady and safe."
Fri 08:24 - SS3: WRC2 Suninen
"Quite okay. We lost a lot of time and we have to think about the reason." There seems to be some confusion at the stage end about times. Our system shows Suninen quicker than Evans.
Fri 08:22 - SS3: WRC2 Evans
"Struggled a bit in here with new notes. A bit wide in one place but okay."
Fri 08:21 - SS3: Al Rajhi
"An okay stage. We pushed a little more but not over the limit."
Fri 08:19 - SS3: Al Qassimi
"Difficult. It's damp and loose and the grip was unpredictable."
Fri 08:17 - SS3: Gorban
"Broken prop shaft. Front-wheel drive only until we get to service."
Fri 08:17 - Finland after SS3
Meeke 11m57.2s, 2.Tänak +1.4s, 3.Latvala +2.0s, 4.Ogier +4.5s, 5.Mikkelsen +6.9s
Fri 08:15 - SS3: Abbring
"Not so bad. I struggled with the grip early on, but the feeling came after a couple of kilometres."
Fri 08:14 - SS3: Bertelli
The Italian drops 22sec to the leaders with his two-wheel drive Fiesta. "We just continue like this until service."
Fri 08:11 - SS3: Ligato
"A lot to learn in this opening loop before we can push harder in the repeat."
Fri 08:09 - SS3: Breen
Fifth-quickest. "A lot cleaner and better. A joy to drive. Let's try and carry this speed into the next couple of stages."
Fri 08:07 - SS3: Camilli
Eight-tenths slower than his team-mate Ostberg and less chatty than he was after SS2. "Good. We are happy."
Fri 08:06 - SS3: Meeke
Two-tenths slower than stage leader Latvala. "It's always interesting to explore a new stage. Two-tenths [off the pace] - I'm happy with that."
Fri 08:04 - SS3: Tanak
Second fastest so far but still unable to get the most from his tyres. "So damp and loose this morning I'm struggling a lot to get these hard tyres working. I have three hards and one soft compound on the car."
Fri 08:01 - SS3: Neuville
Fourth quickest of the six cars through. "Not good. I don't know. A lot of loose gravel, I didn't find a good line. We can go faster."
Fri 07:59 - SS3: Ostberg
3.4sec off the pace. "Quite okay. My pace notes are a bit too slow in places but I managed to adapt. Better towards the end. My driving and the car feel good."
Fri 07:58 - SS3: Latvala
Quickest so far. "It was good. A good rhythm but a bit too aggressive in places, too sideways."
Fri 07:57 - SS3: Paddon
4sec off the pace and sounding a bit Saturday Night Fever. "Ugly driving. I've gone back to my natural driving style after being too cautious on the opener. I need to tidy it up. I've got to get my groove on."
Fri 07:54 - SS3: Mikkelsen
4.6sec slower than Ogier. Local TV report he "almost rolled". His car looks okay. What happened? "Not really good. A couple of mistakes and that cost us some time. Not the best rhythm. Okay, we will continue and try to stay in touch. I'm happy with my morning - apart from this one." (!)
Fri 07:51 - SS3: Ogier
"Compared to the first stage it's very slippery in here. I try my best."
Fri 07:50 - Stage info: SS3
Halinen, 7.07km. A tricky stage on narrow roads barely wider than a car that has never been used before. Grass verges encourage cutting, but stones are hidden in almost every bend. The first section contains many crests and corners but with few actual jumps. That changes at 5km where a long straight ends with a big jump which could see cars fly long.
Fri 07:49 - Up next: SS3
The stages come thick and fast today. We'll follow the lead pack as they head to the next test. Ogier started at 0746hrs
Fri 07:48 - Finland after SS2
Meeke 8m31.2s, 2.Tänak +1.0s, 3.Mikkelsen +1.3s, 4.Latvala +2.2s, 5.Ogier +3.5s
Fri 07:46 - SS2: Abbring
"Amazing. To be on the pace straight away is not the way to go. We will increase the speed as we understand more."
Fri 07:45 - SS2: Bertelli
More than a minute off the pace. His car looks okay. What happened? "We have only front-wheel drive and now in the stage the gearbox sounds bad. This is crazy. We call the engineer."
Fri 07:43 - SS2: Ligato
"I am learning with this car all the time. There is a lot to learn and I will take my time."
Fri 07:40 - SS2: Breen
"Slippery, very slippery. Variable grip."
Fri 07:39 - SS2: Camilli
A few choice words from Eric - and it sounds like he's in shock. "It's a different game here with the speed and the jumps - you need to be awake. We didn't take the risks, so everything was okay. Maybe we push a little bit more in the next one."
Fri 07:37 - SS2: Meeke
Quickest so far, beating Latvala by 2sec, and when the time goes on the board he shakes his co-driver's hand. "I wasn't sure how good the time would be. I wasn't that happy - in a few places I braked too early, a bit too cautious in places. A nice start but a long, long way to go."
Fri 07:34 - SS2: Tanak
Nine-tenths off Latvala's leading time so far. "The hard tyre was difficult the beginning, the conditions were too damp. A few big moments near the start."
Fri 07:32 - SS2: Neuville
3.9sec slower than Latvala - but quicker than him at the midpoint. He's shaking his head. "I was not committed enough in the second part. Good at the beginning but not at the end."
Fri 07:30 - SS2: Ostberg
6.1sec off the pace. "Quite a good start. A good rhythm. In some sections I could fight harder. I need to identify the corners where I can do better."
Fri 07:29 - SS2: Latvala
Quickest so far, 1.2sec up on Mikkelsen. "A good start but very slippery near the start. The concrete posts mean we can can't cut so much and that can take you near the ditches on the exits."
Fri 07:27 - SS2: Paddon
5.3sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "The grip levels are a bit low and I;m just trying to be clean and today. I can see from the lines in the road that the guys ahead are taking big risks. There in the ditches - all over the place. If that keep that up I'd be surprised if they finish the rally."
Fri 07:24 - SS2: Mikkelsen
He completes in 6m46.6 - that's 2.1sec quicker than Ogier. "A good stage, a good rhythm. I know this one from previous years, but not last year. The feeling is great, I have to continue like this."
Fri 07:22 - SS2: Ogier
"A little damp, so the conditions are not so bad for me but still the grip is pretty low. Not such a bad stage for us."
Fri 07:19 - SS2: Splits watch
Mikkelsen 2.2sec quicker than Ogier at the 6.2km point.
Fri 07:18 - Stage info: SS2
Mökkiperä, 13.84km. Mökkiperä is one of the rally’s most technical tests and a tough wake-up call. It has plenty of jumps but is slower than many others. The opening section comprises flat roads, long straights and 90 degree corners. But after 6km it switches character, with one fast corner following another, most of them with tricky crests to increase the challenge.
Fri 07:17 - SS2: Live
Ogier started on schedule at 0713hrs.
Fri 07:16 - WRC Live
Our live radio coverage is up and running. Becs Williams and stage-end reporters Colin Clark and Stuart Loudon are on air now. You'll find a link in the LIVE section.
Fri 07:16 - WRC TV crew update
SS2 cameras set up and pointing in the right direction. Crews report cloudy skies over Mökkiperä - almost like it might rain. The gravel road is surprisingly damp with dew.
Fri 07:12 - Friday's start order
Championship order today, so Sébastien Ogier is first on the road. Here's how the WRC drivers will line-up. 1. Ogier, 2. Mikkelsen, 3. Paddon, 4. Latvala, 5. Østberg, 6. Neuville, 7. Tänak, 8. Meeke, 9. Camilli, 10. Breen.
Fri 07:09 - Weather
A warm and dry start and it looks like that will be the case for the rest of the day. There is some light cloud around but no rain expected today. The current temperature of 15˚C is expected to hit a sticky 23˚C later. No breeze to speak of in service. Muggy.
Fri 07:08 - Friday's itinerary
Runs north, south and west of host town Jyväskylä and includes four forest stages that are run twice – including the classic Jukojärvi – and two new short and sharp ‘jab’ stages, Halinen and Äänekoski-Valtra. Crews return to Jyväskylä for a 30-minute service midway through the leg and the day closes with a second go at Thursday night's Harju Super Special.
Fri 07:08 - We're back
Reporting live from Jyväskylä heavy metal central to bring you the news from the stages. Coming up today: the first full day of flat-out competition in the forests.
Fri 07:07 - Good morning
And welcome back to our live text coverage from Neste Rally Finland, round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Thu 21:38 - Until then
Keep an eye on the news section for all the latest from Jyväskylä. Bye for now.
Thu 21:37 - We will return
On Friday from 0713hrs (local) when the rally resumes with the 13.84km Mökkiperä stage.
Thu 21:35 - Stage complete
And that's where we'll leave our live text service for tonight.
Thu 21:34 - Finland WRC2 after SS1
1.Lappi 1m49.6s, 2.Evans +0.2s, 3.Suninen +1.1s, 4.Tidemand +1.2s, 5.Gilbert +1.3s
Thu 21:32 - WRC 2 Update
All cleanly through and it's Lappi who leads the category overnight. Evans is two-tenths adrift in second with Suninen third.
Thu 21:11 - WRC 2 update
The rest of the WRC 2 competitors are making their way through SS1. Evans still quickest of the eight cars to complete. His closest rivals are yet to come.
Thu 20:58 - Finland after SS1
=1.Mikkelsen 1m45.9s, =1.Tanak +0.0s, 3.Ogier +0.1s, 4.Neuville +1.2s, 5.Meeke +1.9s
Thu 20:54 - SS1: Ogier
The champ is through, one tenth slower than Tanak/Mikkelsen who tie the rally lead tonight. "I hope for a good fight for the victory but it will be tough with the loose gravel," he says. "Tomorrow morning I will start my big push and see what we can do."
Thu 20:51 - SS1: Neuville
Third quickest so far, 1.2sec off the lead pace. "Pretty happy with that."
Thu 20:50 - SS1: Latvala
The home hero is after a hat-trick of Finland wins this week - but he's 2.1sec off the pace here. "I had a bad start. I'm not happy with my driving. I'm struggling with the gears, braking too early. Tomorrow the rally starts."
Thu 20:48 - SS1: Meeke
Making his WRC return after victory in Portugal. He's third quickest here so far, 1.9sec off Tanak/Mikkelsen and dismissive of VW boss Jost Capito's prediction that he will win this weekend. "Volkswagen have won almost every rally in the last three years. I don't know what planet he's on."
Thu 20:44 - SS1: Tanak
Will this be the rally where Tanak collects the win he lost in Poland? It's a great start - exactly the same time through SS1 as his nemesis Mikkelsen. Spooky. "We were not working enough in Poland. I try to a make perfect weekend here."
Thu 20:41 - SS1: Paddon
Fourth quickest, 3sec off Mikkelsen's pace. How was that? "The slowest stage we're going to do this weekend I think. I went wide on the first corner and sat out wide for a few moments."
Thu 20:39 - SS1: Ostberg
Six-tenths up on his M-Sport team-mate Camilli but a chunky 3.2sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "I'm not getting a podium from that," he says. "The rally starts tomorrow I think. I tried here but that was not a good time."
Thu 20:36 - SS1: Mikkelsen
Massively quick but massively wide. The Norwegian 2.8sec quicker than Breen but lucky to escape a very wide exit from a left-hander that left his Polo R completely off the road. "A good stage - I'm happy with that," he grins.
Thu 20:34 - SS1: Camilli
"We want to learn this event. These Super Specials are not my favourites - I can't take the risks."
Thu 20:33 - SS1: Abbring
The Dutchman here in place of the injured Dani Sordo. "Not easy to find the rhythm."
Thu 20:31 - SS1: Breen
Quickest so far in 1m48.7s and his DS 3 looks terrific after a heavy shunt in pre-event testing. "First and foremost a huge thanks to the mechanics for putting the car right. It's fantastic - you'd never know anything was wrong. I've got my PlayStation back."
Thu 20:29 - SS1: Bertelli
Quickest time so far for the Italian: 1m49.5s. "A bit too cautious. It was very slippery - more than I expected."
Thu 20:27 - SS1: Al Rajhi
Fresh from contesting the Moscow - Beijing Silk Way Rally, Al Rajhi returns the WRC here. He was lucky to take the start at all after rolling his Fiesta during this morning's shakedown. "The team did a great job to get it back together. Tomorrow the real rally starts."
Thu 20:23 - SS1: Ligato
Marcos back in a DS 3 World Rally Car for the first time since his home round in Argentina. "It's our first time here in a World Rally Car. We want to find the right speed and we want to finish." He's no stranger to this event though - he first tackled it in 2001 in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.
Thu 20:20 - SS1: Al Qassimi
The Abu Dhabi team patron is through. This is his first WRC stage since Portugal. "A nice atmosphere here, but the stage is very slippery. All part of the fun."
Thu 20:17 - SS1: Gorban
The first of the top line World Rally Car drivers to complete. He slots second quickest so far, 2.2sec off the pace of Evans in the R5 Fiesta.
Thu 20:16 - SS1: WRC 2 Evans
The first of the WRC 2 drivers through and Evans has a turbo boost problem. "Not a great start. The pop-off valve is opening. I hope we can get it sorted before tomorrow's stages."
Thu 20:13 - SS1: Junior WRC update
Veiby, Tempestini and Nordgren lock out 1-2-3 in the Junior class. That's a great start from Finland's Future Star winner Nordgren. You can read more about him in the JWRC news section.
Thu 20:02 - SS1: DDFT update
Sousa, Price and Ciamin hold 1-2-3 in DDFT after SS1.
Thu 19:31 - WRC Live
This weekend's live radio coverage is up and running. Colin Clark and Stuart Loudon are on air now. You'll find a link in the LIVE section.
Thu 19:11 - Tyre info
Update on the numbers and compounds (Hard or Soft) chosen for SS1: All Michelin drivers have taken five soft compound tyres.
Thu 19:11 - Thursday's start order
The 76 crews will tackle SS1 in a special order headed by national class competitors. The DDFT entries will be next followed by the Junior WRC and half of the WRC 2 entries. Valeriy Gorban heads the bulk of the WRC entries from 2011hrs, with championship leader Sébastien Ogier on stage at 2049hrs.
Thu 19:06 - Weather
It's a hot and dry and evening here in Jyväskylä. There is some light cloud around but no rain expected tonight. The temperature is a sticky 23˚C. The latest forecast is for more dry weather on Friday and Saturday and perhaps some rain on Sunday.
Thu 18:15 - Watch SS1 LIVE
WRC+ users can watch tonight's stage live. Steaming starts at 2000hrs. Still time to sort a subscription if you haven't already. We'll be back in time for the start. Ciao for now.
Thu 18:15 - Time zones
All times quoted here are local. Currently, Finland is running in Eastern European Summer Time. In other words, UTC/GMT +3 hours.
Thu 18:14 - Coming up on Thursday
A Super Special starter before three packed days of competition. The 2.3km mixed-surface Harju stage gets underway at 1900hrs with the works team World Rally Cars on track an hour later.
Thu 18:13 - We're all set
In Jyväskylä's premier heavy metal nightclub to bring you the news from the rally stages. The decor is a bit edgy, but on the plus side we have a glitterball and an unbeatable view of the service park outside.
Thu 18:08 - Hyvää iltaa world
And welcome to our live text coverage from Neste Rally Finland, round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Mon 16:08 - Neste Rally Finland 28-31 July
Watch the 26min. Preview Magazine on wrcplus.com!