A round-up of the stories that are making the news in the WRC this morning:
- Jari-Matti Latvala has revealed that his choice of start position for Rally Finland was influenced by Sebastien Loeb’s rally winning performance here last year. The Volkswagen ace, the Finland winner in 2010, decided to copy Loeb’s 2012 road order strategy at last night’s selection event [pictured]. “I took tenth position on the road because that’s where Sebastien was last year. I started behind him and could not catch him for the whole rally!” he said.
- Four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen will be reunited tonight with the car that powered him to his first title. The Finn will drive his 1996 Rally Finland winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evo3 at the Killeri Super Special just before the WRC crews tackle the stage from 2030hrs. The unique car was given to Tommi as a gift from Mitsubishi and has been stored in Juha Kankkunen's car museum for last 15 years. “It’s an unbelievably great feeling to race with this car again,” said Tommi.
- Local hero Esapekka Lappi is expecting tough competition in Finland from the new R5-specification Ford Fiestas that are making their WRC debut here. Lappi, who drives a Super 2000 Skoda Fabia, is pre-rally favourite for the WRC2 class but admitted that the new 1.6 turbo Fiesta was a big cause for concern. “The times at shakedown show they are really fast – it will be a big struggle,” he said.
- Lappi is also one of the faces of Finland’s national road safety campaign which is prominent at Rally Finland. Turvassa Tiella (Safety on Road) brings traffic awareness education and moped driving practice to secondary schools across the country. The campaign is organised by AKK Motorsport, Finland’s governing body, and is part of the FIA’s global Action for Road Safety campaign.