Sebastien Loeb won Neste Oil Rally Finland for the second time the hard way by running first on the road on all three days as his then Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier tried but failed to outsmart him in a game of tactical warfare. Ogier’s challenge eventually dived when a puncture in the closing stages dropped him back to third behind leading Finn Jari-Matti Latvala, who was a mere 8.1s adrift of Loeb at the finish in his factory Ford Fiesta. Team-mate Mikko Hirvonen was out of contention from the moment he went off on a left-hand bend on stage one and struck a tree after he reported his car’s engine momentarily lost power and drive. Damage sustained to his Fiesta’s rear brakes and suspension dropped him 2m02.7s off the pace after the opening day’s action. However, he recovered to fourth following a succession of stage wins and a differential problem for Petter Solberg’s privateer Citroen, which languished in fifth at the Saturday night finish.
Did you know?
The legendary Ouninpohja stage is back on the Neste Oil Rally Finland itinerary in its full length for the first time since 2004 this season. The late, great Colin McRae was such a fan of the test that he named his racehorse after the high-speed run.
Michelin will supply its Latitude Cross tyre in a hard compound. DMACK will make available its DMG+2 soft compound tyre.