Fri 22:00 - That's all from us tonight
Our text coverage will continue on Saturday from 0800hrs. Until then, keep an eye on the news section for all the latest from Jyvaskyla.
Fri 21:58 - Coming up on Saturday
It's the penultimate day of Neste Oil Rally Finland and another 10 stages await. The action kicks off at 0808hrs with Mökkiperä. Then it’s on to Jukojärvi before a trio of shorter stages: Surkee, Himos and Leustu. All five are repeated in the afternoon after a midday service.
Fri 21:53 - WRC2 top 5 after SS13
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 1:41:25.2, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +42.0s, 3. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +1m43.7s, 4. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +4m:29.6, 5. Tanak (Fiesta R5): +4m40.7s
Fri 21:52 - Latvala after SS13:
“Last year I was nowhere in this rally. And I really wanted to be back in the groove - so it’s been feeling good to do the speed we have today.”
Fri 21:50 - Meeke after SS13:
“I’m a bit surprised to be here in second place, to be honest. It’s only my second time here in a World Rally Car. I wanted a good, consistent rally with no mistakes and I’ve done that. I know Seb will come charging out of the blocks tomorrow but it’s not my job to fight for a world championship this year. If I can get to the end, keep my speed and make no mistakes I’ll be happy.”
Fri 21:46 - Ogier after SS13:
“We’ve done a good day, and if Jari-Matti is leading then he’s done well too. The stages are beautiful and it’s been a pleasure to drive them in the Polo. I’m pretty happy with my driving and I couldn’t do more. Tomorrow I will keep pushing. I don’t give up.”
Fri 21:11 - WRC top 5 after SS13
1. Latvala (VW): 1:34:42.4, 2. Meeke (Citroen): +19.7s, 3. Ogier (VW): +21.3s, 4. Mikkelsen (VW): +1m04.2s, 5. Ostberg (Citroen): +1m05.4s
Fri 21:08 - SS13: Tough ride for Hanninen
The Finn completes a difficult day, which included a roll, a missing windscreen and broken power steering. He has big blisters on his hands from wrestling the wheel, but as a dairy farmer he's used to them. "For a farmer these are nothing."
Fri 21:00 - SS13: Meeke in second
A great drive by the Citroen ace who, on only his second appearance here in a a World Rally Car, rounds off Friday's competition 1.6sec ahead of last year's winner.
Fri 20:56 - SS13: Hirvonen close too
The Finn rounds off the day sixth, 3.1sec behind Mikkelsen in fourth and the third contender in what's shaping up to be an almighty scrap on Saturday.
Fri 20:51 - SS13: Ostberg motivated
He ends the day trailing Mikkelsen by 1.2sec but feeling upbeat about his chances of getting ahead of him and Hirvonen on Saturday. "For sure it's getting better and better. It's been an interesting day. We are getting in a good way with the car and the driving. I feel quite good that even with my problems so far I'm still in a position to beat them."
Fri 20:46 - SS13: Mikkelsen set for battle
The Norwegian in the thick of the fight for fourth with Ostberg and Hirvonen. "I'm sure we will give them a fight for their money tomorrow."
Fri 20:44 - SS13: Perfect day for Latvala
He'll take a 21.3sec advantage over Ogier into Saturday's contest. "I tried to keep pushing all day - and the afternoon has been better than the morning. We must be prepared for Ogier tomorrow. He hasn't given up."
Fri 20:41 - SS13: Ogier through
No worries for the Frenchman who is relieved to have got Friday over with. "It's been a good day for me, I'm happy with my drive." Looks like a more advantageous start position of third on the road for him on Saturday.
Fri 20:37 - SS13 underway
Ogier in stage - and looking quite ragged on a left-hand corner. He did well not to hit anything.
Fri 20:14 - WRC2 top 5 after SS12
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 1:39:31.9, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +40.1s, 3. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +1m42.7s, 4. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +4m:28.0, 5. Tanak (Fiesta R5): +4m42.0s
Fri 20:07 - SS12: Chardonnet completes
The Frenchman nurses his Citroen DS3 R5 through after a rock strike on the previous stage left the car with broken right-hand front suspension. "I tried to manage it as best as I can. I didn’t push too much."
Fri 20:01 - Just Harju to go today
WRC crews now en route to Jyvaskyla and the holding zone before SS13. Stage goes live at 2030hrs.
Fri 19:58 - SS12: Kruuda clear
The WRC 2 driver cured his oil leak - traced to a gearbox cooler - before the stage
Fri 19:55 - WRC top 5 after SS12
1. Latvala (VW): 1:32:55.8, 2. Meeke (Citroen): +19.4s, 3. Ogier (VW): +21.6s, 4. Mikkelsen (VW): +1m04.0s, 5. Ostberg (Citroen): +1m04.4s
Fri 19:37 - SS12: Mikkelsen under pressure
the Norwegian loses a little time braking too late for a junction. He did the same this morning and he's kicking himself. He holds fourth, but Ostberg and Hirvonen are breathing down his neck. Ostberg is 0.4sec behind. Hirvonen another 0.4sec further back.
Fri 19:32 - SS12: Latvala clear
He's quicker than Ogier by 1.5sec, despite a small off near the start. "We took a right-hander too fast, but it went well at the end."
Fri 19:28 - SS12: Ogier stops sweeping
With just tonight's street stage to go before the road order is changed, Ogier has swept his last Finnish gravel. "This one was not the worst but it's been a frustrating afternoon for sure. I'm happy that I've finished my sweeping."
Fri 18:47 - SS11: Prokop retires
The Czech driver went off and has damaged his car. Crew okay. The team will assess the damage in service tonight before making a decision about Rally 2.
Fri 18:44 - SS11: Key points
Stage winner Latvala builds an 18.3sec rally lead with a risky flat out attack. Road opener Ogier is unable to respond due to the slippery stage surface. Meeke moves ahead of Ogier into second. Hirvonen and Ostberg are tied in fifth - both just 2.3sec behind Mikkelsen. Prokop stops 12km from the start.
Fri 18:36 - SS11: Hanninen safely through
and he’s coping with his Hyundai’s ongoing power steering problem. “I notice it in the ruts and after the jumps. It’s a problem with the pump I believe. If it’s smooth it’s okay.” His time is 12sec slower than Latvala.
Fri 18:31 - SS11: Meeke up to second
The Citroen driver moves 1.2sec ahead of defending champion Ogier. And he almost can't believe it. "It's a little bit crazy. I didn’t expect this. I’m starting to understand this car now and it's working well. With the benefit of last year I'm more dialled-in."
Fri 18:28 - SS11: Prokop stopped
Tracking system shows his Fiesta parked 12.4km from the start
Fri 18:27 - SS11: Hirvonen vs Ostberg
The two drivers are tied in fifth overall. Ostberg felt he lost time in the stage with a set-up that was too low. "It was impossible to do any more".
Fri 18:23 - SS11: Latvala attacks
He's 8.4sec quicker than Ogier to stretch his rally lead to 20.1sec. How much of a disadvantage does he think Ogier is at? "Okay, in some places for sure he's losing out but also it can also be a mental issue - when you think you are at a disadvantage." And how hard was Jari-Matti pushing? "For sure we were pushing really hard and we took some really big risks. [My co-driver] Miikka was not saying slow down though, so he knew we were on the attack."
Fri 18:18 - SS11: More frustration for Ogier
Another loose, dry stage and Ogier knows he's given away a stack of time to his rivals. "What can I do? Nothing. I do my best. There's a long way to go tomorrow and it will be the start of another rally for me. Perhaps I should open all the rallies from now on?"
Fri 18:06 - SS11: Underway
Fri 18:06 - WRC2 top 5 after SS10
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 1:24:15.0, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +42.6s, 3. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +1m09.3s, 4. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +4m:10.6, 5. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +4m36.4s
Fri 18:03 - SS10: WRC2 update
lots going on in the WRC support category. Ketomaa goes second quickest despite a broken rear anti-roll bar. Kruuda’s Fiesta is losing oil from a damaged oil cooler. Tanak stopped to change a puncture and Alonso is worried his engine has low oil pressure.
Fri 17:52 - SS10: Key points
Latvala stretches his lead to 11.8sec with another stage win. Road opener Ogier suffers in the dry, cleaning conditions. Third placed Meeke closes the gap on Ogier to just 2.8sec. Hirvonen spins and loses fourth position to Ostberg. Solberg stops to change a tyre. Hanninen reports power steering problem.
Fri 17:45 - WRC top 5 after SS10
1. Latvala (VW): 1:18:45.9, 2. Ogier (VW): +11.8s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +14.6s, 4. Ostberg (Citroen): +55.5s, Hirvonen (Ford): +57.1
Fri 17:40 - SS10: Henning. Stones.
he hit some and that's what caused the puncture. The incident cost him more than 3 minutes.
Fri 17:37 - SS10: Hanninen in trouble?
He's reporting a power steering problem with his Hyundai i20. Still, a decent time - 8.2sec slower than Latvala.
Fri 17:36 - SS10: Henning update
He had to stop and change a right-hand front wheel after he went off and punctured the tyre. We'll get the full story when he completes.
Fri 17:34 - SS10: Meeke closes on Ogier
Another great stage for the Briton, who is 2sec slower than Latvala on stage to lie just 2.8sec behind Ogier in the overall standings. And he's loving it. "One of the best stages I’ve every experienced in Finland. The speed here is incredible. Some big jumps, but a pleasure to drive."
Fri 17:30 - SS10: Henning stopped
He's going again now, but his Fiesta was stationary at the 5.8km mark for a couple of minutes. Puncture?
Fri 17:29 - SS10: Mikko spins
drops around 10 seconds and loses fourth place to Ostberg. "It was a really stupid mistake in a junction. I went in with the [front] wheel open and just touched a metal post. It caught the wheel and spun us around. I'm lucky we didn’t take the wheel off."
Fri 17:26 - SS10: Ostberg flies
The Norwegian is closest so far to Latvala's pace - he's just 2.5sec slower. After a slow start, Mads is sounding far more positive. "It's working very well now. We made some good steps like we did on the test. I’ve got that feeling back."
Fri 17:22 - SS10: Latvala benefits
From Ogier's swept racing line. He goes 4sec quicker. "I really pushed hard, trying so hard to stay in [Ogier’s] lines. I knew I had to focus on staying on the lines and not attack too much in the corners."
Fri 17:20 - SS10: Ogier sweeping
In the baking sun, the road has dried since the morning run, making the surface more loose and slippery. Ogier is first to discover this. "Unfortunately there's more than a little bit of road cleaning now. It's enough to slow me. I still give my best."
Fri 17:00 - SS9: Key points
Ogier takes the stage win - at the highest average speed of the rally so far. Meeke is second quickest, just one-tenth slower. Prokop completes with a broken wheel and possible suspension damage. Neuville retires before the stage as a result of his crash on SS5. Michal Solowow is another retirement - the Pole did not leave the pre-stage service.
Fri 16:51 - WRC2 top 5 after SS9
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 1:12:49.7, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +35.5s, 3. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +1m15.4s, 4. Tanak (Fiesta R5): +3m:07.5, 5. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +3m38.0s
Fri 16:44 - SS9 a record breaker
Ogier's winning run through the repeated Pihlajakoski was at an average speed of 130,66 km/h – that's the first stage in Finland this year with an average of more than 130km/h
Fri 16:38 - WRC top 5 after SS9
1. Latvala (VW): 1:08:06.9, 2. Ogier (VW): +7.8s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +12.6s, 4. Hirvonen (Ford): +40.6s, Ostberg (Citroen): +53.1s
Fri 16:30 - SS9: A moose loose
or an elk. Craig Breen's not sure, but he definitely saw one near the start start. "It was huge and right there in front of us - less than 5 metres away."
Fri 16:28 - SS9: Paddon's oil update
His car is still leaving a trail of oil, but it's not bothering him. "We've had the problem since Poland and we know how to manage it." His time is 4.3sec slower than Ogier's - but it didn't come easy. "The road is still quite loose and rutted - it's difficult."
Fri 16:26 - SS9: Hanninen returns
His Hyundai back to full strength, Hanninen is back on the pace. He goes just 1.6sec slower than Ogier. "Everything runs well now and no problems at all. Nice stage."
Fri 16:22 - SS9: Prokop in trouble
The Czech reaches the stage end with a broken right-hand rear wheel and possible suspension damage.
Fri 16:20 - SS9: Meeke second quickest
he's one tenth of a second slower than Ogier to keep the pressure on. The difference between them in the overall standings is just 4.8sec
Fri 16:16 - SS9: Hirvonen mystified
He completes 2.1sec slower than Ogier. “Its all right, but I still don’t know where they are making the time up - it’s sixth gear all the way.” Asked if could be down to a lack of engine power Mikko smiles: “I’m sorry - I don’t understand the question…”
Fri 16:09 - SS9: Latvala loses a little
He can't match Ogier's pace, and completes 0.6sec adrift. No problems to report.
Fri 16:07 - SS9: Ogier through
First in the start order, Ogier is first to sample the repeat stage: "It's not in such good condition as before. The grip is okay, but for sure it will get better for the cars behind." His time is 6m39.8s
Fri 15:59 - But no Neuville
After an investigation in service revealed damage to his Hyundai's roll cage. That's it for the Belgian who is unable to continue.
Fri 15:55 - Crews and cars serviced
and en route to SS9 - the first of this afternoon's repeated stages
Fri 15:54 - Welcome back
to our live text service from Neste Oil Rally Finland
Fri 13:37 - Key points from Friday morning
Two stage wins for overnight leader Latvala who extends his advantage over VW team-mate Ogier to 8.4sec. Ogier takes one stage win, but is hampered by running first through a loose and slippery SS7. Citroen’s Meeke is best of the rest and 3.7sec behind Ogier after a morning that included his maiden Finland stage win. Problems for Hyundai drivers Neuville, who lost his car’s rear spoiler on SS5 and struggled with no downforce, and Hanninen who rolled on SS6 and lost his windscreen. Kubica retires in a ditch on SS5
Fri 13:23 - Up next: Service
Crews en route to Jyvaskyla for the 30-minute midday service. Next competitive stage, the repeat of Pihlajakoski, gets underway at 1556hrs
Fri 13:21 - WRC top 5 after SS8
1. Latvala (VW): 1:01:26.5, 2. Ogier (VW): +8.4s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +13.1s, 4. Hirvonen (Ford): +39.1s, Mikkelsen (VW): +50.3s
Fri 13:19 - SS8: Paddon clear
He reckons his performance on SS8 was ‘a bit messy’ but it’s been an encouraging morning for the Kiwi who is Hyundai's lead driver in seventh position
Fri 13:10 - SS8: Hanninen completes
Hopefully the last windy stage for the Finn who heads off to the Hyundai service area for 30 minutes of repair time. “The damage to the car is not so bad but yeah, there will be a hurry in service.”
Fri 13:03 - SS8: Meeke aiming high
he was fastest on the previous stage, but a small error costs Meeke the chance of a double. "I went slightly wide at a right-hand junction about 2kms from the start. I lost my momentum there. When you're not perfect it's impossible to get a scratch time here." His time is exactly 1 sec slower than Ogier.
Fri 12:59 - SS8: Hirvonen in awe
He's 2.7sec slower than Ogier and almost speechless. "We had a good stage on the previous one, and this one was good too, but bloody hell the other guys are going fast."
Fri 12:53 - SS8: Ogier vs Latvala
The short stage goes Ogier’s way by 0.9sec after a couple of small errors from his team-mate. Latvala said: “No problems, I know where the time was lost. On two corners I was too sideway. Nothing serious, I will correct for the second time through.”
Fri 12:15 - Up next
at 1242hrs is the first pass through Painaa (SS8). A combination of old, familiar stages. At just 7.7km it’s short and sharp, but it packs in a lot - accurate pace notes absolutely essential here
Fri 12:10 - WRC top 5 after SS7
1. Latvala (VW): 57:34.3, 2. Ogier (VW): +9.3s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +13.0s, 4. Hirvonen (Ford): +37.3s, Mikkelsen (VW): +48.3s
Fri 12:06 - SS7: Uncomfortable ride for Hanninen
and especially for his co-driver Tomi Tuominen, who had to cope with wind from the open windscreen and a dashboard that fell into his lap. "It was difficult to turn the pages in the pace notes," explained Tuominen. Both drivers are wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes. "Not that bad," added Hanninen. His time is 44.3sec slower than Meeke’s
Fri 11:56 - SS7: Hanninen on stage
After his previous stage roll the Finn has removed the windscreen for this one. Bound to be a bit drafty in the i20.
Fri 11:55 - SS7: Meeke fastest?
It looks that way. The Briton completes in 10m37.0s - that's 0.9sec quicker than Hirvonen. Even with the road cleaning effect on this stage that's a terrific drive. He's looking good for his first Rally Finland stage win
Fri 11:49 - SS7: Hirvonen flies
Is this where the rally starts for Mikko? He's quickest so far. "That went really well, it was perfect but on the one before I hesitated on 3 or 4 corners and lost the feeling. The margins are so small. A podium is still a possibility."
Fri 11:45 - SS7: Ostberg's mood change
he's just 2.5sec off Latvala's pace. "It's getting better and better - at least I feel that I can drive again and now I can work on the details. I don’t know what has changed exactly, but you need to be in the right mood to do well here."
Fri 11:40 - SS7: Latvala turns the screw
A ruthless push puts him 3.2sec quicker than Ogier. "We were 4 sec ahead of Ogier when I got the split time and at that point I started to attack more. Overall I'm happy with the time."
Fri 11:38 - SS7: Ogier struggles
The shortened version of Ouninpohja is dry and loose. That's not a great combination for Ogier who completes in 10m41.4s. "No problem at all but no chance to do more - there's so much loose on this one. No chance."
Fri 11:32 - WRC2 top 5 after SS6
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 50:21.5, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +32.0s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +42.2s, 4. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +1m:03.4, 5. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +3m18.7s
Fri 11:27 - WRC top 5 after SS6
1. Latvala (VW): 46:56.1, 2. Ogier (VW): +6.1s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +14.2s, 4. Hirvonen (Ford): +37.6s, Mikkelsen (VW): +46.5s
Fri 11:21 - Polo R stage win milestones
No. 50 by Latvala (2013 Greece), No. 100 by Ogier (2013 Australia), No. 150 by Ogier (France 2013), No. 200 by Ogier (2014 Portugal) and now 250 in Finland...
Fri 11:18 - Polo R pilot stats
The 250 stage wins have come courtesy of Jari-Matti Latvala (66) Sebastien Ogier (168 - shared one with J-ML yesterday) and Andreas Mikkelsen (17)
Fri 11:15 - Polo R yes, yes, no...
The Polo’s 250 fastest times have come from a total of 371 stages. That’s a stage win rate of 67% – or in other words: ‘yes–yes-no’
Fri 11:12 - Polo R hits 250
Latvala’s SS6 stage win is the 250th for Volkswagen’s championship winning hatchback. Ready for some Polo R winning stats?
Fri 11:07 - SS6: But better news for Paddon
The Kiwi is a fine 4th fastest in his i20 - that's some consolation for Hyundai
Fri 11:05 - SS6: Hanninen loses position
The roll drops him from fourth to ninth
Fri 11:04 - SS6: Hanninen rolls
but he manages to complete in a time just 1m09s slower than Latvala. His Hyundai looks a bit second hand but beyond a broken windscreen the damage is largely cosmetic. "We had a slow puncture from the start, then we clipped a bank and spun backwards into a ditch."
Fri 11:00 - SS6: Massive moment for Prokop
Most drivers are loving the high speed stage. Not Prokop though, who completes looking haunted. "A pace note was wrong and we jumped in the wrong place and landed completely off the road. I thought that was it. After that I was driving too much on the brakes, I need to get my rhythm back."
Fri 10:56 - SS6: Meeke seeking perfection
The Briton goes third quickest so far, 2.1sec off Latvala's pace, but the splits show he had been faster. "We slid wide on a long right-hander, but even with that I’m delighted. Okay, it's not perfect but we’ll continue, we'll try to be perfect."
Fri 10:52 - SS6: Neuville missing aero
Having lost its rear wing on the previous stage, Neuville's Hyundai is getting loose on the high speed sections. I've completely lost the grip on the rear so I have to be very very careful - I have to take it steady. In the slower parts it's more or less okay." His time is 19.3 seconds slower than Latvala's
Fri 10:48 - SS6: Ostberg resets
He's 6sec slower than Latvala but sounding more positive than he has so far on this event. "I destroyed my confidence yesterday and made things worse this morning by trying too hard to push. So we’ve had a little reset and now it's going in the right direction."
Fri 10:45 - SS6: Mikkelsen keeping cool
A cautious approach means he's 9.6sec slower than Latvala. I'm satisfied, happy with the stage, no problems. I backed off in some places though, I don't take huge risks because I want to finish here."
Fri 10:42 - SS6: Latvala best so far
He's 0.4sec quicker than Ogier. "I was enjoying but my notes were not exactly correct in some places. It's all clear now though." Will this be the Polo's 250th stage win?
Fri 10:40 - SS6: Ogier having fun
He's grinning at the stop line after setting a benchmark time of 10m52.7. "Incredibly fast but really fun to drive. The end is new, so I kept a small margin, but I think that's a good time."
Fri 10:37 - SS6: Zero car report
Jani Paasonen has reached the finish control in the road opening zero car. What’s his verdict on SS6? “Perfect. Like a mini Ouninpohja. This is the little brother.”
Fri 10:17 - WRC2 top 5 after SS5
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 38:46.9, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +34.5s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +37.7s, 4. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +56.7s, 5. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +3m06.1s
Fri 10:11 - Up next: SS6
The blindingly fast Paijala gets underway at 1026hrs. The stage is returning to the itinerary after 11 years away but comes back super-sized - with a popular test road in Liehuntie bolted on to make it 23.38km long. Hold tight.
Fri 10:01 - WRC top 5 after SS5
1. Latvala (VW): 36:03.8, 2. Ogier (VW): +5.7s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +12.1s, 4. Hanninen (Hyundai): +27.5s, Hirvonen (Ford): +30.5s
Fri 09:57 - SS5: VW closes on milestone
Latvala's fastest time on SS5 was number 249 for the Polo R WRC. Pretty impressive for a car that made its WRC debut last year
Fri 09:55 - SS5: Kubica out
Confirmation from M-Sport that the Pole has has driven into a ditch and won't be going any further today. Crew okay
Fri 09:53 - SS5: Oil issue for Paddon?
Perhaps. Like in Poland, his Hyundai is leaking oil - and some of it has make it onto his car's brakes. He thumps in a great time though - just 2.6sec slower than Latvala's.
Fri 09:50 - SS5: Hanninen to fourth
A fantastic start to the day for the Finn who is second quickest in his Hyundai i20. Hanninen is just 0.4sec slower than stage winner Latvala. Hanninen is typically reserved. "Yeah, okay. Quite a good one." He moves ahead of Hirvonen.
Fri 09:46 - SS5: Meeke in touch
Another great drive from the Briton who holds third, 6.4 sec behind the lead Volkswagens.
Fri 09:43 - SS5: Kubica stopped
Event tracking shows the Pole's Fiesta stopped 1.6km from the start
Fri 09:42 - SS5: Hirvonen loses against Latvala
"At the 9km split I was level with Jari-Matti." At the stage end however he's 4.1sec slower. "I lost the time in the narrow sections. That p***es me off a bit."
Fri 09:39 - SS5: Damage to Neuville's car
His Hyundai is missing its rear spoiler, and has damage to several panel including a door. "I went wide on a slippery corner. We hit the rear but the car is okay. We are fine. Okay, we've lost some downforce, and the rear was moving about a bit, but we'll continue like this."
Fri 09:36 - SS5: Ostberg frustrated again
His time is 11.6sec slower than Latvala’s. “I struggled a lot, there quite a few very big moments. Yesterday for sure the car wasn’t working but we’ve fixed that. The car is working now. It’s like I don’t remember how the drive the car. It was not good from my side.”
Fri 09:33 - SS5: Safety first for Mikkelsen
The Norwegian 9.7sec slower than Latvala but he's keeping positive. "My time looks bad compared to them, doesn't it? There's more to come. A clean stage, no problems, let's keep working on it."
Fri 09:30 - SS5: Latvala escapes ditch drama
"We had a moment on a left-hander. We drifted into a ditch and were in it for a long time to be honest. It was the first stage we recced and it tightened more than I thought. No worries afterwards." He's quickest so far in a time of 6m45.9s
Fri 09:28 - SS5: Cautious start for Ogier
And he's satisfied with the still damp road. "It's okay I think. It shouldn't be a disadvantage [being first]. But I didn't have enough confidence to push. It's a new stage, lots of blind corners."
Fri 09:25 - SS5 underway
Volkswagen driver Latvala is in stage. The Flying Finn holds an advantage of 4.5 sec after four stages. Team-mate and defending world champion Ogier is second with Meeke 4.7 sec further back, a strong third for Citroen.
Fri 09:17 - Weather update
No sign of Thursday’s thunderstorms out there today. Instead, there's sunshine and blue sky over Jyvaskyla. Some light cloud too, but little chance of rain today. Temperature predicted to hit 27 degrees Celsius
Fri 09:16 - Nikara MIA
The Finn did not restart today, his Fiesta RS WRC was too badly damaged in a monster shunt on SS3
Fri 09:16 - Friday start list
Based on championship standings, which puts leader Ogier first on the road. Here’s the full World Rally Car start order: 1. Ogier, 2. Latvala, 3. Mikkelsen, 4. Ostberg, 5. Hirvonen, 6. Neuville, 7. Meeke, 8. Evans, 9. Prokop, 10. H. Solberg, 11. Hanninen, 12. Kubica, 13. Paddon, 14. Breen, 15. Solowow
Fri 09:15 - Up first
at 0918hrs is Pihlajakoski (SS5), last sampled by WRC competitors in 1987. Fans of Finnish cinema might recognise the scenery here because it features in a series of popular comedy films where the hero rode the roads on a moped
Fri 09:14 - Friday’s route
Is based mainly south-east of host city Jyvaskyla and and consists of a loop of four stages run consecutively in the morning, then repeated after a midday 30-minute service. The day rounds off with a second visit to the short Harju test first run on Thursday
Fri 09:13 - Coming up today
Friday is day two of the rally, and the longest in terms of competitive distance. In store are 134.47 timed kilometres arranged over nine special stages
Fri 09:13 - Hello from Jyvaskyla
welcome back to our live text coverage from Neste Oil Rally Finland - round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship
Thu 22:12 - Until then
Keep up to date with all the news from day one in Finland on wrc.com. And if you want to watch the latest action from the stages, don't forget to check out the new WRC+ service.
Thu 22:09 - Coming up on Friday
The longest day of the rally with 134.47 timed kilometres over nine special stages. It begins with the Pihlajakoski test, last sampled by WRC competitors in 1987, from 0918hrs local time.
Thu 22:09 - WRC2 top 5 after SS4
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 31:31.6, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +35.0s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +36.2s, 4. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +51.6s, 5. Kikireshko (Fiesta R5): +2m55.6s
Thu 22:02 - End of day 1: Meeke
"I think everybody has been pushing today but when you’re taking manageable risks it’s so enjoyable on these roads. If you’re safe here you lose loads of time. I have taken no massive risks, and it’s working for sure. This evening I was close to my comfortable limit. Maybe there’s a little more to give but I’m very happy to be so close to the guys ahead. We’ve done only one of four days. We have 22 stages still to come!"
Thu 22:01 - End of day 1: Ogier
“It was good news to see the rain falling because the stages were very dry on the recce and I was worried to open the road in these conditions. With the rain it was better. Maybe I was still a little 'on holiday' in the morning, but I was better in the afternoon. Tomorrow we will have to push harder. There is still some more pace to come, but only with more risk. It’s good to have such a close battle with Jari-Matti, and now Kris is joining. That makes it interesting and hopefully we can carry this fight for a long time. Tomorrow morning I will attack immediately and try to put Jari-Matti under pressure.”
Thu 22:00 - End of day 1: Latvala
“I’m feeling excellent. I have a really good set-up and lots of confidence in the car. It felt perfect at shakedown, so overall a good day. Kris Meeke is pushing us hard, so I expect it will be a great fight this weekend.”
Thu 21:28 - SS4: No choice for Ketomaa
The WRC2 leader defends his earlier win or bust approach on SS3. "It's unfortunate that Ott [Tanak] had problems there because we had two DMACK cars in front. I was pushing at 120 per cent on Lankamaa and was very lucky to get through. But it had to be done because if I had let him get away we would never get the time back tomorrow."
Thu 21:22 - WRC top 5 after SS4
1. Latvala (VW): 29:17.9, 2. Ogier (VW): +4.5s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +9.2s, 4. Hirvonen (Ford): +26.4s, 5. Hanninen (Hyundai): +27.1s
Thu 21:15 - SS4: Kubica on the Finnish Grand Prix
"I'm not a big fan of gravel tyres on tarmac roads and it was noticeable on the tarmac that we had an engine misfire too. Okay though, still a long way to go."
Thu 21:13 - SS4: Hanninen slips to fifth
The Finn loses position to Hirvonen on Thursday's final test. He will start Friday's leg trailing fourth by 0.7sec.
Thu 21:07 - SS4: Solberg pledges attack
"The puncture today was unlucky, but that's how it goes sometimes. Tomorrow I'll be flat out on the second loop." The Norwegian lies 1m13.8sec off the lead.
Thu 21:01 - SS4: Long night ahead for Evans
"My pace notes haven't been perfect today to be honest - they're on the cautious side. We can work on them tonight and hope for a better result tomorrow." The Welshman ends Thursday's competition 1m14.8sec off the lead.
Thu 20:59 - SS4: Another big push from Meeke
But it's not quite enough for a stage win - instead he's third fastest so far, 1.2sec off Ogier's winning time. "Scratch times don't come easy in this sport but I'm delighted to be here. I always said you need experience here, and this is the first event I did last year so it's really nice to be at this speed. Still a long way to go."
Thu 20:56 - SS4: Mixed day for Neuville
Who was one of the star performers here last year. "We struggled a little bit with pace notes on the first two stages. Now the confidence is better, but here the chicanes were destroyed by the cars ahead and there was lots of dirt on the road." The Belgian ends the day 38.8sec off the lead.
Thu 20:52 - SS4: Hirvonen critical
of his performance so far. "I could do better, so far it's a bit slow." He ends the day 26.4sec off Latvala's overnight lead.
Thu 20:50 - SS4: Ostberg through
Third fastest so far, 2.0sec slower than Ogier.
Thu 20:46 - SS4: Mikkelsen clears
his time is 2.2sec slower than Ogier's - which is best so far. "Not the best stage, and I've had better days to be honest, but it's okay. We still have a long way to go."
Thu 20:44 - SS4: Latvala loses a front wing
After clipping a bale on the final corner, but it's a minor issue and he's through 0.8sec slower than Ogier. "Not a perfect day - and there's more to give. I have to do better if I'm going to catch Sebastien" Latvala's overall lead stands at 4.5sec.
Thu 20:41 - SS4: Ogier in the groove
"One corner was a bit tighter than I thought, but it feels like I'm getting into the groove."
Thu 20:39 - SS4: Ogier completes
In a time of 1m46.1s.
Thu 20:35 - SS4: Ogier on stage
The defending world champion left the start line at 2035hrs
Thu 20:28 - SS4: LIVE on television
We're watching Jani Paasonen tackle the stage now in the zero car. A few damp patches on the tarmac roads but largely dry. Gravel section damp but looks in good condition.
Thu 20:22 - SS4 weather update
Plenty of blue sky above Jyvaskyla now. No chance of rain on Thursday's closing stage.
Thu 20:13 - SS4 details
One of the legendary Finnish stages, Harju is back after a 16 year absence. The 2.27km mixed surface test includes a gravel section through parkland and ends on tarmac roads in the heart of Jyvaskyla. Watch it LIVE on WRC
Thu 20:12 - WRC2 top 5 after SS3
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 29:38.4, 2. Kruuda (208 T16): +32.5s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +35.4s, 4. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +50.8s, 5. Al Rajhi (Fiesta RRC): +1m57.6s
Thu 20:09 - SS3: WRC2 casualty list
Yazeed Al Rajhi: smashed a front wheel on a rock and broke a lower suspension arm. Valeriy Gorban: Stopped at the 10.6km mark with a broken wheel. Later a stone broke the radiator. Retired.
Thu 20:04 - SS3: Tanak explains
He completes with the loss of more than four minutes. "Near the beginning of the stage we hit a rock in the line and lost power steering. Then we noticed he had a puncture so we stopped to change the wheel. The power steering was okay after that..."
Thu 20:00 - WRC top 5 after SS3
1. Latvala (VW): 27:31.0, 2. Ogier (VW): +5.3s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +8.8s, 4. Hanninen (Hyundai): +24.0s, 5. Hirvonen (Ford): +24.4s
Thu 19:58 - SS3: Disaster for Tanak
The Estonian stopped at the 11.7km point. He's going again now but has lost the lead of the WRC2 category to Ketomaa.
Thu 19:54 - SS3: Puncture for Breen
He drops 45sec to the leaders after one of his Fiesta's front tyres deflates. "I felt the start of a puncture a third of the way through. It didn’t get any worse, I’m glad about that, but it definitely wasn't right. The stage was so rough."
Thu 19:51 - SS3: Jarkko Nikara out
The Finn has gone off the road and M-Sport have confirmed that he will go no further today. Both Nikara and his co-driver Jarkko Kalliolepo are okay.
Thu 19:45 - SS3: Ruts limit Hanninen charge
The Finn was third fastest on SS2, but found it impossible to push on the increasingly rutted road.
Thu 19:43 - SS3: Puncture for Henning
His Fiesta reaches the finish control with a flat left-hand front tyre. "Aaugh - very frustrating! There was a rock in the road, 9km in, I couldn't see it - it was in the middle of a corner." He completes 44.7sec slower than Latvala.
Thu 19:38 - SS3: Meeke close to a stage win
But he misses out by just 1.2sec. "I want a stage win! Okay, I was never really comfortable here and the ruts can really catch you out, but if you're committed the car works well!"
Thu 19:36 - SS3: Rough ride for Neuville
"A much better run than earlier, but the car kept jumping out of the ruts so it was hard to keep the line. On some occasions it was hard to keep hold of the steering wheel." His time is 7th quickest so far, 11.6sec off Latvala's pace.
Thu 19:32 - SS3: But Ostberg is still frustrated
"I'm struggling a lot with the car. I can’t drive like this. I will change it for tomorrow. I know what to do - I need change the set-up to make the car better."
Thu 19:30 - SS3: Mikkelsen happier
With a time that's 7sec adrift of his team-mates. "I tried to increase my speed in that one, but at the beginning it was very slippery and I had no confidence with the rear of the car - it was moving around a lot."
Thu 19:28 - SS3: Latvala matches Ogier's time
An identical 11m11.2s run from our rally leader who made some car set-up changes before the stage. "I went stiffer and higher but I struggled with understeer near the start. I got back into my rhythm near the middle."
Thu 19:23 - SS3: Last corner scare for Ogier
"I lost the front end on the final corner and I had to back off on the last straight. Not a bad stage though. More slippery that earlier, more mud and some small ruts, but not too bad." His time is 11m11.2s
Thu 19:16 - SS3: Weather update
Earlier storm has passed. Cloud lifting. No rain for more than an hour. Stage drying.
Thu 19:14 - Live car tracking now available
Via our new WRC+ service. Find out more at www.wrcplus.com
Thu 19:09 - SS3 Underway
Ogier started the repeat pass of Lankamaa at 1907hrs.
Thu 18:23 - Up next: Refuel and regroup
Crews head to Konnevesi for a regroup and remote refuel before the second pass of Lankamaa. Ogier will start the stage at 1907hrs. We'll be back then.
Thu 18:17 - WRC2 top 5 after SS2
1. Tanak (Fiesta R5): 17:40.5, 2. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): +3.6s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +24.4s, 4. Kruuda (208 T16): +24.6s, 5. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +28.3s
Thu 18:10 - Key points from SS2
Latvala fastest again - extends rally lead to 5.3sec. First on the road Ogier grateful for the rain and moves up to second. Ostberg seventh and extremely frustrated by his lack of pace. A close battle - just 18.9sec covering the top seven drivers
Thu 18:01 - WRC top 5 after SS2
1. Latvala (VW): 16:19.8, 2. Ogier (VW): +5.3s, 3. Meeke (Citroen): +7.6s, 4. Hanninen (Hyundai): +7.8s, 5. Hirvonen (Ford): +14.9s
Thu 17:57 - SS2 weather update
The rain has stopped but there's still lots of standing water on the stage.
Thu 17:56 - SS2 stage details
In the past few years teams have used Jouhtikyla for private testing, but it now returns to the itinerary for the first time in 22 years. The road is fast and flowing with accurate pace notes essential as drivers flick their cars from crest to corner
Thu 17:54 - SS2: Kubica unflustered
The Pole has another decent stage. He's 9.5sec off Latvala's pace but keeping his driving under control. "You can’t compare my pace to that of the top drivers on these roads. We are trying to learn and drive consistently. We know this. No drama."
Thu 17:51 - SS2: Hanninen flies
Hyundai's Finnish ace goes third quickest. 'Okay, still we lost [to the Volkswagens] but it's not that easy. The main thing is keeping in the line and sometimes I was not able to do it. You have to be smooth and I know I can be smoother."
Thu 17:47 - SS2: Prokop frustrated
The Czech is 15.5sec slower than Latvala. "I can be better but I have no feeling for the grip. I just don’t know where the limit is."
Thu 17:45 - SS2: Meeke slips to third
A decent time from the Briton on SS2, but it's not enough to keep Ogier behind.
Thu 17:41 - SS2: Neuville overdriving
"My pace notes are too slow, and that's making me overdrive a bit - and that's not good for my confidence. I'm struggling a bit at the moment."
Thu 17:39 - SS2: Hirvonen hanging on
7.2sec slower than Latvala on stage and he's now 14.9sec behind overall. "Sebastien and Jari-Matti are are putting on an incredible speed. We’re trying to hang on in there."
Thu 17:36 - SS2: Ostberg fuming
He's 7.2sec slower than Latvala and his frustration is clear. "I don't understand it. It seems to be going well but the times are s**t."
Thu 17:34 - SS2: Steady start for Mikkelsen
He's 5.6sec slower than Latvala. "Okay, I would like to be quicker that Sebastien and Jari-Matti but I still don't trust the conditions yet. I'm looking to build my pace bit by bit."
Thu 17:32 - SS2: But Latvala's quicker
He completes 2.2sec quicker in 5m02.5s. "Very good grip in there. Only one slippy braking area. It's not so good for the spectators but for the drivers it's a good feeling."
Thu 17:30 - SS2: Ogier thanks the rain
The VW ace is through and delighted by the steady rain. "I was hoping for this for sure. This stage was very slippery with a lot of loose gravel so I'm happy it was wet. Not a bad stage, a few small mistakes but it's okay."
Thu 17:27 - WRC 2 casualty list
Chardonnet: Came too fast into a corner and hit a bank. Has a right-hand front puncture and maybe and left-hand front puncture too. Only has one spare. Pizzuti: Car driven by Max Rendina (see today's news in brief for more details) but appears to have gone off and damaged the rear suspension.
Thu 17:23 - WRC2 top 5 after SS1
1. Ketomaa (Fiesta R5): 12:19.1, 2. Tanak (Fiesta R5): +2.4s, 3. Brynildsen (Fiesta RRC): +17.6s, 4. Kruuda (208 T16): +17.8s, 5. Chardonnet (DS3 R5): +18.5s
Thu 17:11 - Key points from SS1
Latvala goes quickest to hold a 2.6sec rally lead. Heavy rain affects drivers running further down the start order. Rain mitigates the usual road cleaning effect
Thu 17:02 - WRC top 5 after SS1
1. Latvala (VW): 11:17.3, 2. Meeke (Citroen): +2.6s, 3. Ogier (VW): +3.1s, 4. Hanninen (Hyundai): +4.6s, 5. Hirvonen (Ford): +7.7s
Thu 16:58 - SS1: Damp start for Nikara
The Finn almost bagged sixth in a Mini here in 2013 until a shock absorber failed on the penultimate stage. Back this year in a Fiesta RS and getting off to a wet start. “In the beginning it was okay but in the second half there was lots of rain and water in the ruts. I had to take it very carefully.” He completes 12th fastest, 26.8sec off Latvala's stage winning time.
Thu 16:51 - SS1: Breen hits monsoon
The Irishman completes 54.4sec off Latvala's stage winning time. "That was a baptism of fire. For some reason I just can’t seem get a clear stage - it was the same in Sweden. It was an absolute monsoon in there."
Thu 16:45 - SS1: All okay for Kubica
"Quite a good warm up. Quite good. Only one small mistake at a junction, but nothing happened so okay. We got some heavy rain for the last 8km."
Thu 16:43 - SS1 rain update
It's falling more heavily now, to the detriment of drivers further down the start order who, in dry conditions, would expect a cleaner road swept of loose gravel by the cars ahead. Instead, the surface is deteriorating.
Thu 16:38 - SS1: Meeke second quickest
A fabulous start for the Briton, who is 2.6sec off Latvala's pace: "Yeah, it's good, but there’s a long, long way to go." He's loving the Finnish scenery too. "What an incredible place to drive a rally car, eh?"
Thu 16:34 - SS1: Neuville held back?
The Belgian feels the damp road was sapping the power from his Hyundai. "The road is getting more loose. In places I feel like we are not going forward."
Thu 16:31 - SS1: Hirvonen awake
He's 7.7sec slower than Latvala. "Okay, that was a bit of a wake up call but overall pretty good. Jari-Matti has pulled away a bit but we are there in the fight."
Thu 16:30 - SS1: Ostberg uncomfortable
"That was a difficult stage, I'm struggling to find the good grip. There's a lot of variation, you can see that because the road is different colours in places."
Thu 16:27 - SS1: Mikkelsen slower
He's 13sec slower than Latvala but sounds satisfied enough. "I'm quite happy with my run, no moments, it's a good start."
Thu 16:25 - SS1: Latvala quickest so far
An awesome time for Ogier's Volkswagen team-mate who goes 3.1sec quicker. He likes the rain, too. "It was definitely helping. The first two corners were a bit slippy but after that I had very good grip. In some places I probably could have pushed harder but you never know how much to risk."
Thu 16:22 - SS1: Ogier through
In a benchmark time of 11m20.4s. "For sure I didn't take the full risk. I could have been faster but in the rain, and in the standing water I was not flat-out."
Thu 16:12 - SS1: Ogier underway
Our World Champion, and last year's Finland winner, has begun the stage in his Volkswagen
Thu 16:11 - SS1 weather
Lankamaa is 48km from Jyvaskyla, and although it has rained there in the last hour it has stopped now. Skies looking threatening though, so more downpours are likely
Thu 16:07 - SS1 details
Finland doesn’t mess around, and the event gets underway with a proper challenge. At 23.44km Lankamaa is the longest test of the rally and features a dizzying mix of conditions: wide and narrow roads, crests, jumps and dips, all tackled flat-out
Thu 16:00 - Weather forecast
Looks a bit more encouraging for the spectators, with dry and sunny conditions returning for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Thu 15:56 - Weather update
For the last few weeks it has been beautifully hot and sunny in Jyvaskyla, with only the occasional thunderstorm to top up the lakes. Today was fine and dry for shakedown, but the clouds gathered after lunch and it is now chucking it down with rain
Thu 15:55 - Start order
For Friday AND Saturday is based on championship standings, which puts leader Ogier first on the road. Here’s the full World Rally Car start order: 1. Ogier, 2. Latvala, 3. Mikkelsen, 4. Ostberg, 5. Hirvonen, 6. Neuville, 7. Meeke, 8. Evans, 9. Prokop, 10. H. Solberg, 11. Hanninen, 12. Kubica, 13. Paddon, 14. Breen, 15. Nikara, 16. Solowow
Thu 15:55 - Cars have left service
and are en route to the start of SS1 Lankamaa, which kicks off at 1608hrs local time
Thu 15:55 - So four stages tonight
and still three days of action go until the winner crosses the finish ramp on Sunday at 1500hrs
Thu 15:54 - There’s also Jouhtikyla
once a popular test venue for WRC teams, plus the day-closing Harju street stage which runs through the heart of Jyvaskyla and is making a return after a 16 year absence
Thu 15:54 - Coming up
Thursday’s opening leg taking crews northeast of host city Jyvaskyla for two passes of the Lankamaa stage, which runs close to Finnish rallying legend Juha Kankkunen’s home and is the longest of the rally at 23.44 kilometres
Thu 15:54 - Hello from Jyvaskyla
and welcome to our live text coverage of Neste Oil Rally Finland - round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship and the fastest of the lot