28 - 30 Jul 11
17:54 That's all from Neste Oil Rally Finland
Thank you for joining us at WRC.com - we'll be back on August 18 for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
17:49 Hirvonen wins the Power Stage
Mikko Hirvonen takes three bonus championship points in his home rally thanks to his unbeaten time of 2m39.6s, followed by his Abu Dhabi Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala on 2m39.9s. It concludes a remarkable comeback for the Finn, who finishes Neste Oil Rally Finland in fourth place after an accident on Thursday left him languishing down the field.
17:47 Loeb claims remarkable Neste Oil Rally Finland win - and a bonus point
Sebastien Loeb concludes a memorable and well-deserved victory for the Citroen Total World Rally Team, and bags a bonus championship point by dint of setting the third fastest time in the Power Stage, 2m40.2s: “That was a very difficult rally. Always we had the other drivers getting us to clean the road. I was really under pressure. We had to fight until the end. Maybe it was the greatest race [of my career], yes.”
17:44 Ogier bitterly disappointed with third
Sebastien Ogier confirms his third place overall by setting the third quickest time in the Power Stage, 2m40.2s, but he cannot contain his disappointment at not being able to challenge for the win: “A really difficult end to the rally. It’s not a good situation.”
17:42 Latvala finishes second in Rally Finland
Jari-Matti Latvala records the second fastest time so far, 2m39.9s, and cements second place overall: “It was a tough, tough week. I pushed hard, all that I could do, but it was not enough. I just woke up too late for the rally. I wanted a good result and I wanted to win.”
17:38 Solberg disappointed with fifth place finish
Petter Solberg has held on to fifth place but he can't beat his brother over the Power Stage, finishing in 2m40.5s: “I’m not very happy. I’ve been fighting very hard but I’m not on the pace. I’ll just have to work harder and we’ll see for the next rally.”
17:36 Ostberg finishes sixth
Mads Ostberg has driven amazingly well this weekend, regularly mixing it with the frontrunners in his Stobart Ford. But he can’t transfer that pace to the Power Stage, no doubt because of worn tyres. He’s 2.9s slower than Mikko Hirvonen over the final kilometres: “It’s been a very good week. Apart from Thursday I’m happy with everything. We’ve had good speed and the car’s been working well. I tried really hard to catch Petter today but couldn’t quite manage it. We’ve been very close to the pace of the big five.”
17:30 Hirvonen fastest so far in Power Stage
Mikko Hirvonen completes Rally Finland in fourth place and posts the fastest time so far, 2m39.6s: "It wasn't too intelligent - I pushed like crazy."
17:27 Seventh for H Solberg
Henning Solberg comes home in seventh place for Stobart Ford, posting a time of 2m40.4s in the Power Stage: “I tried my best, I didn’t get the feeling in the car this weekend, but still I’m here. We’ll try to stay here for some more years!”
17:25 Wilson finishes eighth in Rally Finland
Matthew Wilson has resisted Kimi Raikkonen’s attempts to wrest eighth place from him, and as a bonus he eclipses Raikkonen’s time in the Power Stage, coming through in 2m42.9s: “It’s the hardest fought eighth place I’ve ever had. Probably the best I’ve ever driven here.”
17:21 Raikkonen completes Power Stage
2m43.0s for Kimi Raikkonen, who has had an eventful home rally. Co-driver Kai Lindstrom says: “I would say it was a good weekend. There was an unfortunate mistake this afternoon where we lost the spoiler. He did well this weekend.”
17:20 Kuipers through SS22
Dennis Kuipers comes through in 2m47.1s, so Al Qassimi is still the fastest so far: “I’ve been really happy with everything - the pace notes and the car. Everything has come together.”
17:16 Al Qassimi finishes Neste Oil Rally Finland
Khalid Al Qassimi gets to the end of this epic rally with a final stage time of 2m44.5s, and is doubly pleased to do so considering the monster accident that accounted for his retirement from the event a year ago: "If you asked me yesterday I'd have told you I wasn't really happy because I couldn't get the car right and I didn't have the confidence. There's a big step for me to learn here because so much of it is absolutely flat out. I'm really pleased to get to the finish."
17:13 Hanninen wins SWRC
Juho Hanninen completes the final stage of Neste Oil Rally Finland to cement his SWRC victory on home soil in the Skoda Fabia S2000. 2m45.1s is the time: "It's important for us so I'm very happy. We had a good fight yesterday with Tanak and I survived. We were maximum on all the stages in the morning."
17:08 Stage Begin - SS22 Laajavuori 2 (4.19km)
Bonus championship points are on offer in this climactic Power Stage. SWRC leader Juho Hanninen will be first through.
15:38 Top six recap after SS21: Loeb in control
Just 4.19km separates Sebastien Loeb from another thoroughly deserved WRC victory after leading from the front throughout the weekend. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h36m46.8s; 2 Jari-Matti Latvala +8.4s; 3 Sebastien Ogier +12.8s; 4 Mikko Hirvonen +1m09.7s; 5 Petter Solberg +1m15.9s; 6 Mads Ostberg +1m25.5s.
15:35 Another stage win for Hirvonen
Fourth place going into the final stage is a fine reward for Mikko Hirvonen's efforts over the past two days - he bumps his team-mate off the top of the SS21 times by 0.4s: “It’s been a good recovery after what happened on the first day. I’m looking forward to the finish because the next stage is going to be difficult, lots of rocks and gravel everywhere.”
15:34 Ostberg also having to back off
2m26.9s for Mads Ostberg, third quickest so far, but he's going to have to call a halt to his pursuit of Petter Solberg: “It’s going very well, but I think my left rear upright is not going to work for much longer. It’s making some very strange noises so I’ll have to back off a bit. We won’t catch Petter but I’m very happy with the speed we’ve had today.”
15:33 Solberg rues 'hard' weekend
Petter Solberg comes through in 2m27.8s, which should be enough to defend fifth place from Mads Ostberg: “It’s been a hard weekend, I’m very disappointed. I didn’t have the pace from the shakedown and I don’t know why. I was doing everything I can and that’s it.”
15:31 Latvala fastest in SS21
Jari-Matti Latvala goes 1.1s quicker than Ogier with a 2m25.5s: “It’s too late to catch him [Loeb] and I’m angry with myself because I should have done the changes earlier. Now the car is just how I want it, but at the beginning of the rally we didn’t know what to do.”
15:29 Ogier having to slow down
2m26.6s for Sebastien Ogier: “I had to slow down in all the left corners because my right tyres are destroyed.”
15:27 Loeb: 'all I could do was push'
Sebastien Loeb completes the penultiate stage in 2m27.4s: “For sure I’m really happy with the performance, really happy with my driving this weekend with those guys behind me. I could not plan anything with strategy, all I could do was push.”
15:23 Stage Begin - SS21 Isojärvi 2 (4.85km)
Sebastien Loeb just has to keep it on the road now and victory is in his grasp.
15:20 Top six recap after SS20: It's Loeb's to lose
With less than 10km left to run on Neste Oil Rally Finland, Sebastien Loeb has done all the heavy lifting. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h34m19.4s; 2 Jari-Matti Latvala +10.3s; 3 Sebastien Ogier +13.6s; 4 Mikko Hirvonen +1m12.0s; 5 Petter Solberg +1m15.5s; 6 Mads Ostberg +1m26.0s.
15:19 Hirvonen quickest in SS20
Another stage win for Mikko Hirvonen, courtesy of a 7m01.7s that takes him past Petter Solberg and into fourth place.
15:18 Ostberg through SS20
Mads Ostberg equals Solberg's time on SS20: “I’m giving all I can but I don’t have much more speed. Unfortunately I’m not able to catch Petter - we will try all the way to the finish.”
15:16 Solberg 'pushing like mad'
Petter Solberg completes the stage in 7m08.8, but is forced to concede fourth place: “It’s very rough and I’m pushing like mad. I can’t get past the two guys in front and I saw on the split that Mikko is in front of me. The car hasn’t worked all weekend.”
15:08 Latvala quickest through SS20
7m06.0 brings Jari-Matti Latvala closer to Sebastien Loeb, but he'll surely not be able to make up 10.3 over the next two stages: “I pushed hard, although I did go wide in a couple of places. It was a good time.”
15:05 Ogier through SS20
Sebastien Ogier comes through in 7m06.8s, 1.4s quicker than his team-mate, who must surely now feel confident of victory: “It’s still the same situation for me with no more spares and a very bad tyre on the rear. There is still some gravel on the road so still some cleaning, but I’m very disappointed because of the puncture. This would have been the time to push for the win.”
15:01 No mistakes for Loeb in SS20
Sebastien Loeb finishes the stage in 7m08.2s: “It was okay - no mistakes, that’s the main thing. I had a good rhythm and I hope it will be enough.”
14:56 Stage Begin - SS20 Jukojärvi 2 (14.32km)
The last long stage of the day, which means it's the last opportunity to gain a big chunk of time. If Sebastien Loeb can avoid losing too much time here, he could win the rally.
14:27 Tweet from @DovenbyHall
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14:24 Top six recap after SS19: Ogier fights back
One of his rear tyres may be almost down to the canvas but Sebastien Ogier can never be counted out. A quicker time than both the other drivers in contention for the win has brought him back into play, while a stage win for Mikko Hirvonen brings him within grasping distance of fourth. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h27m21.2s; 2 Jari-Matti Latvala +12.5s; 3 Sebastien Ogier +15.0s; 4 Petter Solberg + 1m14.9s; 5 Mikko Hirvonen +1m18.5s; 6 Mads Ostberg +1m25.4s.
14:21 Raikkonen completes SS19
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 6m04.5s, losing 1.4s to Matthew Wilson. He now lies 2.1s behind Wilson, and they both move up a place to eighth and ninth as a result of Dani Sordo's overheating trouble in the Mini.
14:20 Wilson feeling Raikkonen pressure
Matthew Wilson crosses the line in 6m03.1s and reports a scrappy stage: “That wasn’t a good run through there at all. Too many mistakes. Kimi’s so close - the next one will be interesting.”
14:17 H Solberg moves up
Sordo's woes elevate Henning Solberg to seventh place. But he's not happy with his day in the office, despite finishing the stage in 6m01.5s: “I just don’t have the feeling for the car this weekend.”
14:13 Overheating strikes both works Minis
Both Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke are slow through the stage, Sordo on 6m45.1s and Meeke on 7m37.7s, and both have similar issues. Says Meeke: “We picked up dust in the radiator and had to slow down. Immediately off the start line we lost a lot of power and we just had to drive slowly through.”
14:11 Hirvonen quickest in SS19
Mikko Hirvonen posts an extraordinary 5m54.6s, quickest of all by 2.5s. He's now 3.6s behind Petter Solberg overall: “Getting close! I love this stage, but the next stage I like as well. That’s good. When you get that feeling, it’s going in the right direction.”
14:07 Ostberg 'not able to go any quicker'
Mads Ostberg is also coveting Petter Solberg's position, and he posts the third quickest time so far - 5m58.7s. But he still loses 0.2s to Solberg: “It’s been a good afternoon but unfortunately I took a risk to lower the car at service and it’s scratching a bit. I’m not able to go any quicker.”
14:05 Solberg fights back against Hirvonen
Petter Solberg clocks up a 5m58.5s as he tries to hold on to fourth place: “He [Hirvonen] is like massive crazy attacking. It’s over the top of what I can do. I will try to keep my position - I will not move down!”
14:03 Latvala pulls closer to Loeb
Jari-Matti Latvala takes half a second out of Sebastien Loeb with a 5m58.8s, but he's taken aback by Ogier's pace: “He [Ogier] is doing really well. He pushed hard in this stage, but it’s game on! We have more stages to go.”
14:01 Ogier on the limit
Sebastien Ogier comes in with a very worn-looking rear-right tyre but he undercuts his team-mate by 2.2s: “It’s difficult for me because I have one tyre on the rear which is very bad. Without that puncture I would have been in a position to win.”
13:52 Loeb tips Latvala to challenge
Sebastien Loeb comes through in 5m59.3s: “For sure it’s very difficult to be first. I’m trying very hard, but for sure Latvala is coming. Hopefully we will have enough. It’s so dry in the first part of the stage, I made a new line with every corner. The historic cars have had a big effect on the surface.”
13:50 Stage Begin - SS19 Urria 2 (12.75km)
We're back at Mikko Hirvonen's favourite stage. This is the iconic Rally Finland stage, with the sequence of jumps - and Sebastien Loeb can't afford to back off for a second. This stage could be one of the turning points of the rally.
13:19 Top six recap after SS18: resurgent Fords move up
Both Abu Dhabi Ford World Rally Team drivers have moved up a place after a dominant performance in SS18. Jari-Matti Latvala overhauls Citroen's Sebastien Ogier, who has run out of spare tyres after his earlier puncture and must now drive with a figurative eye on tyre wear. Mikko Hirvonen has achieved his goal of getting into the top five after his disastrous opening day, and fourth place looks to be possible since Petter Solberg is just 7.5s ahead. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h21m21.9s; 2 Jari-Matti Latvala +13.0s; 3 Sebastien Ogier +17.2s; 4 Petter Solberg +1m15.7s; 5 Mikko Hirvonen +1m23.2s; 6 Mads Ostberg +1m26.0s.
13:18 Hirvonen second quickest through SS18
Mikko Hirvonen claims fifth place from Mads Ostberg with a time of 8m01.1s, just 0.8s off his team-mate's benchmark time.
13:15 Ostberg beats both works Citroens in SS18
Mads Ostberg has Mikko Hirvonen bearing down on him and is keen to overhaul Petter Solberg, which explains his time of 8m04.9s. That brings him 2.5s closer to Solberg: “It’s quite tricky. I’m trying to catch some time on Petter but he’s going quite well so it’s not going to be easy.”
13:13 Solberg defending position
Petter Solberg is still keeping Mads Ostberg at arms' length, posting a time of 8m07.4s: “It’s very very rough, I had a tyre off the rim in the last stage so I have to be careful now, But still, I’ll do everything I can.”
13:10 Latvala on a charge in SS18
Determined stuff from Jari-Matti Latvala - that suspension tweak has clearly mended his confidence. He completes the stage in a searing 8m00.3s, 5.2s quicker than the rally leader.
13:08 Ogier pulls back the gap inSS18
Sebastien Ogier turns the deficit around in the final split, stopping the clock at 8m05.0s: “It’s not good now because I have no more spares so I have to drive to save my tyres.”
13:03 Loeb completes SS18
Sebastien Loeb finishes in 8m05.5s - for all the talk of deteriorating surfaces, that's a second and a half quicker than he came through here this morning.
13:01 Stage Begin - SS18 Surkee 2 (14.66km)
A second crack at this testing combination of narrow roads and flat out crests. Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier are in the stage already and Ogier is 1.1s down at the first split.
12:29 Top six recap after SS17: Ogier punctures
The sheer volume of cars passing through the stages has taken its toll on the road surface, and while the top six order remains unchanged the dynamic balance has shifted. Sebastien Loeb is now struggling, while Jari-Matti Latvala has made a set-up change that has rendered his Fiesta's handling much more to his liking. Sebastien Ogier could have exploited Loeb's vulnerability but a puncture has cost him time. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h13m16.4s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +17.7s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +18.2s; 4 Petter Solberg +1m13.8s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m26.6s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen + 1m27.6s.
12:25 Car damage for Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen appears to have had an off, arriving at the finish with wrinkles on the left of the car and some missing bodywork. He declines to explain what happened but the incident seems to have happened early in the stage, between the first and second split. His time of 10m44.0s drops him to 10th and leaves him vulnerable to SWRC leader Juho Hanninen. Matthew Wilson moves up to ninth.
12:22 Meeke restarts after puncture
Kris Meeke arrives at the finish with his Mini’s rear door open and a time of 13m58.7s: “We got a puncture - it was on the line of the corner, I saw the stone and thought we’d missed it. A puncture in this car isn’t easy to work on! Then we had some water temperature issues. Not a good stage but that’s the way.”
12:19 H Solberg finishes SS17
Henning Solberg comes through in 10m25.0s and reports deteriorating surface conditions: “The road is very very bad. No problems passing Meeke.”
12:18 Sordo battles car issues
Trouble for both the Minis on this stage as Dani Sordo completes in 10m25.5s and reports technical trouble: “We had some trouble with the gearshift, the dashboard is a bit crazy and we lost some time in the stage.”
12:16 Hirvonen blitzes SS17
Mikko Hirvonen goes fastest of all with a 10m07.8s, 3.8s quicker than team-mate Latvala. He’s now 1.0s behind Mads Ostberg overall: “The tyres are going to be on the limit at the end. The car is moving around so much on these stages.”
12:15 Ostberg on a charge
Mads Ostberg has the bit between his teeth as he chases down Petter Solberg while trying to stay clear of Mikko Hirvonen. He finishes the stage in 10m12.9s: “Trying to push, we need to make some more seconds. With Mikko behind us we need to push. I will try to go even quicker. I’m very happy at the moment.”
12:14 Solberg completes SS17
10m15.2s for Petter Solberg, who has also been tinkering with his suspension: “What can I say? Very unlucky, you know. We’ve been looking for the problem. We changed the preload on the rear.”
12:10 Latvala quickest in SS17
Jari-Matti Latvala finishes in 10m11.6s, quickest so far by 1.8s: “The battle is on. I’m happy but I’m also disappointed - my car is now how it should have been at the start of the rally. We changed the preload on the rear diff.”
12:08 Puncture for Ogier on SS17
Drama as Sebastien Ogier moves from being ahead of Loeb on the split times to a deficit of 6.9s: “I got a puncture. We will see what happens.”
12:08 Meeke stops on SS17
GPS data indicates that Kris Meeke has stopped his Mini in the stage.
12:00 Loeb 'cannot go faster'
Sebastien Loeb completes the stage in 10m13.4s: “It was really really bad - a lot of loose gravel everywhere. I took big risks but I cannot go faster. For sure he [Ogier] will be faster because my condition is very bad.”
11:59 Official news from Abu Dhabi Ford World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala explains what went wrong for him this morning: "The humidity was so high last night that all the roads were damp. The moisture bound together the loose gravel and the cars ahead didn't have to sweep the dirt off the surface as we expected. Our road position wasn't the advantage we thought it would be. First in the order turned out to be the best because that's the position that offered the most traction. I'm frustrated but I will have some lunch and come back fighting this afternoon. I want to put the pressure on the guys ahead because sometimes the second pass through stages is harder for the road openers than the first pass."
11:57 Stage Begin - SS17 Leustu 2 (21.35km)
Following a service halt the pursuit of Sebastien Loeb begins again with a repeat loop of this morning's stages, followed by a return to Laajavuori for the Power Stage.
09:29 Henning outpaces Petter
Henning Solberg must have felt the icy blast of Kimi Raikkonen closing in on him, because he completes SS16 in 2m27.8s - just 1.5s slower than Mikko Hirvonen. Solberg currently lies eighth with Raikkonen, who overhauled Kris Meeke on the last stage, 4.6s behind in ninth.
09:21 Top six recap after SS16: perfect morning for Loeb
Another stage win for Mikko Hirvonen, but another victory for Sebastien Loeb in the ongoing battle between the two Citroen Total World Rally Team drivers. Only Hirvonen seems to have had an answer to the pace of the factory Citroens this morning, but who knows what condition the stages will be in when the frontrunners revisit them this afternoon? 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h03m03.0s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +10.8s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +20.0s; 4 Petter Solberg +1m12.0s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m27.1s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen +1m33.2s.
09:20 Sordo third quickest in SS16
Dani Sordo pops in a quick one in the John Cooper Works Mini, crossing the line in 2m28.0s - 0.3s faster than Sebastien Ogier!
09:19 Hirvonen fastest in SS16
Mikko Hirvonen has cracked the secret of outpacing the Citroens, going fastest of all once again with a 2m26.3s, 1.1s faster than Loeb: “That’s good. The last three stages have been really good but the guys in front are going to go faster now.”
09:17 Ostberg laments 'small mistakes'
2m29.1s brings Mads Ostberg another 2.1s closer to Petter Solberg: “I did some small mistakes, I tended to brake too early at all the junctions so I’m a bit angry with myself about that. But I can’t get too angry because then I would brake too late!”
09:15 Solberg through SS16
2m31.2s for Petter Solberg: “Honestly I don’t have a clue. I haven’t been fast on the whole rally, not even on the shakedown.”
09:12 Latvala bemused by Citroen pace
A disconsolate Jari-Matti Latvala confirms that this is a race between the two works Citroens as he comes across the line in 2m29.3s, 1.9s off Loeb’s pace: “Even though I felt okay, I don’t know what I should do different. I can’t get on the same speed. I have to drive and see if something happens at the front.”
09:11 Mistake costs Ogier time
Sebastien Ogier loses the time he made up on Loeb on the last stage, finishing 0.9s down: “I did a mistake on this one, I had a big sideways and lost a lot of time - maybe one second. There was a lot of gravel.”
09:09 Loeb hails 'perfect' drive after SS16
Sebastien Loeb comes through in 2m27.4s: “There was a lot of loose gravel in the stage before, this one also. This was the perfect morning - I could not go faster than I did anywhere.”
09:07 Stage Begin - SS16 Isojärvi 1 (4.85km)
Flat out for the first kilometre, this stage then turns on to a smaller road which packs in plenty of jumps.
09:03 Top six recap after SS15: Ogier strikes back
With the leaders about to start SS16, Sebastien Loeb continues to lead but by a diminished margin. 1 Sebastien Loeb 2h00m35.6s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +9.9s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +18.1s; 4 Petter Solberg +1m08.2s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m25.4s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen +1m34.3s.
09:01 Hirvonen takes stage win
Mikko Hirvonen continues to charge, notching up a 7m07.6s - 2.9s quicker than Sebastien Ogier's previous benchmark. He now lies just 8.9s behind Mads Ostberg. Remarkably, he overshot a junction during this stage and actually lost time there.
08:58 Ostberg catching Solberg
7m13.4s brings Mads Ostberg closer to Petter Solberg - now just 17.2s separate them: “It’s not possible to not enjoy this. The car is working well, it’s not easy to fight with these guys - they’re very good drivers and I have to do more than my best to pass them and find more speed.”
08:55 Solberg still struggling for speed
Petter Solberg completes the stage in 7m18.9s: “There were no mistakes - nothing at all. Just no speed.”
08:53 Latvala slips further back
Jari-Matti Latvala stops the clock at 7m11.9s, which leaves him 18.1s behind overall leader Sebastien Loeb.
08:50 Ogier edges closer on SS15
Sebastien Ogier goes 0.7s faster than his team-mate with a 7m10.5s: “Very good. I’m happy with my drive but Seb is going very well too.”
08:47 Loeb reports slippery conditions
7m11.2s for Sebastien Loeb: “This one was really dry so it was very slippery. I had to push very hard to keep the rhythm. I think the time shouldn’t be too bad but it’s very hard now to be first on the road. There is a lot of gravel on the road.”
08:45 Tweet from @citroenracing
ICE1 Racing. Kimi Räikkönen is now 10th. Kris Meeke and Henning Solberg in sight! #wrc #rallyfinland
08:43 Stage Begin - SS15 Jukojärvi 1 (14.32km)
The roads on this stage are much narrower and reward drivers who have got into a good rhythm. SS15 and SS16 used to be run as one stage but have been separated in order to incorporate the Power Stage at the end of the day.
08:09 Raikkonen closes in on Meeke, Solberg
Kimi Raikkonen ends the stage in 6m07.2s, 4.2s faster than Kris Meeke and 1.0s faster than Henning Solberg. He's now in tenth place, needing just 2.3s to overhaul Meeke for ninth. Solberg is 3.6s ahead of Meeke.
08:04 Top six recap after SS14: Loeb still on top
Mikko Hirvonen takes the stage win and moves closer to a top five spot, but Sebastien Loeb is also a winner - he's now over 10 seconds ahead of his team-mate and principal rival, Sebastien Ogier. 1 Sebastien Loeb 1h53m24.4s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +10.6s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +17.4s; 4 Petter Solberg +1m00.5s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m23.2s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen +1m37.9s.
08:02 Meeke enjoys classic stage
Kris Meeke comes through in 6m11.4s: “This was a nice stage, I was enjoying it. The road’s getting slower and it seems to be sapping the power we have.”
08:00 Sordo happy with speed
A very respectable 6m06.0s for Dani Sordo - fifth fastest so far and just 0.6s off Latvala: “That wasn’t bad but Mikko’s time was incredible. We could have done a little bit better but not much.”
07:57 Hirvonen goes fastest in SS14
Mikko Hirvonen shakes off the ghost of his shunt on this stage last year by going fastest of all. 6m01.9s is 1.0s faster than Sebastien Loeb and brings Hirvonen to 14.7s behind Mads Ostberg: “It’s a fantastic place. We were just on the target.”
07:54 Ostberg 'comfortable' with pace
Mads Ostberg edges closer to Petter Solberg by 0.1s with a time of 6m06.6: “It’s definitely still on plan, but we also have a schedule for the crazy guy behind me. 0.1 seconds is not enough on Petter but this was quite a good stage and I was happy with the speed. It’s a long day and we’ll see what we can do. I’m very comfortable in the car.”
07:52 Solberg laments lack of grip
Petter Solberg completes the stage in 6m06.7s: “I have big, big trouble this morning. We changed things yesterday - all the diffs, all the dampers. I haven’t had any grip this morning and it’s really difficult to attack.”
07:50 Latvala through SS14
Jari-Matti Latvala is downcast after crossing the line in 6m05.4s, slipping further back fom the two Citroens: “It didn’t work out. Actually I was quite satisfied with my driving. There’s not a lot I can do at the moment - it doesn’t look good.”
07:48 Ogier now 10.6s behind
6m04.0s for Sebastien Ogier, 1.1s off his team-mate's time: “It’s difficult. Seb is going very fast. I’ve made some mistakes this morning but I’m trying to do my best. We have to react soon because now the gap is becoming important.”
07:43 Loeb ends SS14
Sebastien Loeb completes in 6m02.9s: “The start is much more sandy, it’s not the same kind of road as before. In the sand we were losing the speed. I don’t think we could do better than we’ve done. I really did my best. I’m afraid the second time through will be more difficult - some of the other cars will take the wrong line, and when it dries up there will be sand in the line.”
07:40 Stage Begin - SS14 Urria 1 (12.75km)
A short stage, but an enduring classic: plenty of jumps, including the sideways one that caught Mikko Hirvonen out last year. The opening forest section offers plenty of opportunities to take cuts, then it opens out onto the famous main road with a plethora of crests.
07:32 Raikkonen finds pace on SS13
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 8m17.1s - that's 10.0s slower than Sebastien Loeb's benchmark time but faster than the drivers he's battling for position with. He moves 6.6s ahead of Matthew Wilson and is 6.5s behind Kris Meeke. That gives him 10th place pending SWRC leader Juho Hanninen's time.
07:30 H Solberg passes Meeke
Henning Solberg completes SS13 in 8m23.7s, taking him up to eighth place overall and 0.4s ahead of Kris Meeke, who is 3.4s slower through the stage as he continues his cautious run through the unfamiliar locale.
07:21 Top six recap after SS13: Loeb pushes on
Running first on the road is usually a disadvantage, but try telling that to Sebastien Loeb - another stage win gives him further breathing space on this morning's loop. 1 Sebastien Loeb 1h47m21.5s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +9.5s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +14.9s; 4 Petter Solberg +56.7s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m19.5s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen +1m38.9s.
07:19 Hirvonen through SS13
Mikko Hirvonen comes through in 8m09.0s. That's the fourth quickest time so far, 1.9s down on Loeb, but it takes 4.2s out of Ostberg who is now just 19.4s ahead.
07:17 Ostberg battling for position
Fifth-placed Mads Ostberg takes another 2.5s out of Petter Solberg on SS13, completing in 8m13.2s. He has to find another 22.8s to pass Solberg but Mikko Hirvonen is bearing down on him.
07:15 Solberg struggling in SS13
Petter Solberg's grip on fourth place looks shaky as he completes the stage in 8m15.7s, 8.6s shy of Loeb's benchmark time: “I don’t have a proper feeling and I don’t know why, honestly.”
07:13 Latvala matches Ogier on SS13
Jari-Matti Latvala stops the clock at 8m08.7s, an identical time to Sebastien Ogier - 1.6s down on Sebastien Loeb. He conducts a post-stage interview in Finnish with a local radio station, during which the phrase "maximum attack" can clearly be heard.
07:11 Ogier completes SS13
Sebastien Ogier comes through in 8m08.7s: “It was not so bad for me but Seb is pushing very hard so it’s difficult to follow him.”
07:09 Loeb still pushing in SS13
8m07.1s for Sebastien Loeb: “It was good, I was pushing very hard, no mistakes.”
07:00 Stage Begin - SS13 Surkee 1 (14.66km)
Another combination of wide, fast roads and narrow sections, posing a set-up conundrum - the narrower parts are soft and scattered with stones, but these are where the main chunks of time will be made or lost...
06:20 Top six recap after SS12: devastating start from Loeb
Sebastien Loeb has taken advantage of surface conditions which, unexpectedly, favoured the first car runnning on the road. His stunningly quick time through SS12 left his rivals quite literally shaking their heads in disbelief. But what will happen when the sun burns off the overnight moisture from later stages? 1 Sebastien Loeb 1h39m14.4s; 2 Sebastien Ogier +7.9s; 3 Jari-Matti Latvala +13.3s; 4 Petter Solberg +48.1s; 5 Mads Ostberg +1m13.4s; 6 Mikko Hirvonen +1m37.0s.
06:18 Raikkonen completes SS12
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 10m34.8s, 3.2s quicker than Matthew WIlson, which brings him to 0.4s behind Wilson in the overall standings - although still outside the top 10: “That was okay. I took it too easily in a few places.”
06:16 Wilson through SS12
10m38.0s for Matthew Wilson: “That was okay, we lost a bit to Henning until half way, then we clawed a bit back. We need to take time off him rather than giving it away.”
06:13 H Solberg closes in on Meeke
Henning Solberg completes SS12 in 10m35.7s, bringing him to 3.0s behind Meeke overall: “I try my best and we will see what we can do. Maybe we can pass someone today.”
06:11 Meeke laments lack of Finland experience
Kris Meeke is taking it cautiously and comes across the line in 10m47.8s. He’s understandably disappointed: “No issues, just total lack of knowledge. I was braking about 50 metres before every crest. I lost bucketloads of time. I just have to calm the frustration and learn the stages.”
06:10 Sordo through SS12
10m32.4s for Dani Sordo in the lead Mini: “That was quite good. I’m happy.”
06:08 Hirvonen 'not happy' to be beaten on familiar stages
Mikko Hirvonen completes the stage in 10m21.4s, third fastest thus far but 8.3s slower than Loeb: “I’m not happy at all. Sebastien has set a fantastic time - I know every corner in that stage and I could not have gone faster. Maybe we can change a few things on the car, but...”
06:05 Ostberg sets sights on Solberg
Mads Ostberg stops the clock at 10m26.4s so he now lies 25.3s behind Solberg in fifth overall: “We said yesterday we had a hope of catching Petter but we would have to push. I can push more but maybe Petter can answer a bit. We will definitely continue trying.”
06:03 Solberg aims to hold position
Petter Solberg comes through in 10m32.0s and his assessment is downbeat: “We are not keeping the pace at all. We will just have to try to maintain our position but it’s not easy, no.”
06:01 Slippery roads for Latvala
10m23.8s for Jari-Matti Latvala, 4.3s down on Ogier and 10.7s off Loeb’s time: “It [running third on the road] was not actually the best place to be. The best place is to be first on the road. The moisture in the night has made it so that after the first car has gone through the surface gets slippery.”
05:58 Ogier 6.4s down on Loeb through SS12
Sebastien Ogier loses 6.4s to team-mate Loeb through the opening stage with a 10m19.5s: “He did a very good stage. It was not so bad for us but not so good as well. He was fast on this one but the rally will be long.”
05:53 Loeb flies through opening stage
Sebastien Loeb is beaming as he crosses the line in 10m13.1s: “That’s not so bad! I was pushing like hell. I knew we would not hav an advantage today so when I saw the roads were okay, I pushed to the limit. We have to carry on like this.”
05:51 Tweet from @MikkoWRC
Last day, let's just take the best out of it. Love stages today so watch out
05:51 Stage Begin - SS12 Leustu 1 (21.35km)
We're off! First blood to Sebastien Loeb, who is quicker than Sebastien Ogier through the opening splits.
05:49 Final day of Neste Oil Rally Finland begins
Good morning and welcome to the final day of action from Finland. Sebastien Loeb's attempt to befuddle his chief rivals yesterday evening by checking in late to the final stage and incurring a time penalty didn't come off and he is running first on the road again today. Even so, he's won from the front before...
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