Rally Finland: Update #13
Østberg retires from Rally Finland
This is only the second time Jukojärvi has been run in this direction. Known for its countless junctions, it’s quite different to the traditional Finnish stage.
Neste Oil Rally Finland leader Jari-Matti Latvala dropped 11sec to closest rival Sébastien Ogier after hitting a huge hole and damaging the brakes on his Volkswagen Polo R.
Ogier and third-placed Kris Meeke also hit the hole, but Latvala suffered most and his advantage over his colleague dropped to 20.1sec.
“There was a massive, massive hole in one place that we hit. We had a brake problem afterwards and I had to back off until the end of the stage. Everything seems to be OK now, but we have to get the brakes fixed before the next stage,” explained the Finn.
Meeke was second fastest behind Ogier, 3.2sec adrift of the Frenchman. “We hit a big hole going into a flat left corner,” said Meeke. “We had a big impact and the car bounced up. When you’re doing that speed over a crest and it’s completely blind, it’s not funny.”
Mikko Hirvonen, promoted to fifth by Mads Østberg’s demise, was another to fall foul of the rutted roads. His impact punctured the front right tyre and damaged the shock absorber on his Ford Fiesta RS and he dropped 10sec.
WRC 2 leader Karl Kruuda and second-placed Jari Ketomaa also reported ‘hole damage’. Kruuda’s oil pressure warning light flashed on while Ketomaa reported a strange noise coming from his Fiesta R5.