MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 9: RALLY FINLAND
5 AUGUST 2007
LEG 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER DRIVER AAVA FLIES INTO THE POINTS ON RALLY FINLAND FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

URMO AAVA / KULDAR SIKK
 

MARIS NEIKSANS / MARIS JEKABSONS
 
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 driver Urmo Aava (Estonia) was on stunning form to collect his first World Rally Championship points on the Neste Oils Rally Finland, which finished in Jyvaskyla this afternoon.

Aava was one of a quartet of Lancer WRC05s which made the start of the fastest rally in the WRC and the Estonian quickly established himself among the leading runners on the rally. Only a heavy landing on the ultra-famous Ouninpohja test slowed Aava briefly, when he damaged the steering on his Mitsubishi. With that problem solved, he and co-driver Kuldar Sikk (Estonia), raced through the remaining stages to thrill the thousands of Estonians who had made the trip across the Baltic Sea to cheer their hero to seventh position.

Once again, Rally Finland was one of the best-supported rounds of the series, with hundreds of thousands of people cheering on the world’s fastest rally drivers. After heavy rain during the recce, the sun came out on the first morning of competition and shone throughout the rally. With the weather playing its part, the drivers didn’t disappoint either, flying their cars through the air at fantastic speeds to demonstrate the astonishing ability of the crew and this cutting-edge machinery.

Mitsubishi driver Kristian Sohlberg (Finland) crashed out near the end of the second stage. Fellow Finn Juho Hanninen picked up the pace, however, and kept Mitsubishi right at the sharp end of the battle. His fourth fastest time on the Lautapera test on Saturday highlighted the pace of the Lancer WRC 05. Hanninen was consistently in the top 10 positions, before dropping out of contention later on leg two.

By then, however, Aava was firmly established at the front of the field. As preparation for Finland’s round of the WRC, the 28-year-old won the Otepaa Ralli, the latest round of his domestic series in Estonia. "That win was the perfect preparation for this," he said. "The car has been very good for us on this rally, we’ve had no problems. The only small thing we have problem with here has been the pace notes. In some stages, they have been very good, but in some stages we have really struggled with them. I am very happy with the result, though."

Kaj Kuistila and Kari Jokinen (both Finland) guided their Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05 to 14th overall after a trouble-free run through the event.

In the race for victory in Group N, the crew Maris Neiksans and Maris Jekabsons (Latvia) collected a podium place in their Lancer Evolution IX. Neiksans was competing on the event for the second time and was delighted to make it to the end after retiring on his 2004 outing. Priit Saluri (Estonia) was also in the top six Group N finishers in his Lancer.

At the front of the field, Marcus Gronholm (Finland) became the first driver in the history of the championship to win the same event seven times. Gronholm beat his Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) with Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb (France) collecting third spot.

The next round of the World Rally Championship is Rally Deutschland, August 16-19.



 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
1
2:57:26.1 **:**.*
2
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
2
2:57:50.3 +24.2
3
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen C4 WRC A
3
2:58:36.0 +1:09.9
4
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
3:00:28.9 +3:02.8
5
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
5
3:01:55.5 +4:29.4
6 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
6
3:04:26.6 +7:00.5
7 Urmo Aava
Kuldar Sikk
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 A
7
3:05:05.7 +7:39.6
8 Mads Ostberg
Ole Kristian Unnerud
Subaru Impreza WRC S10 A
8
3:06:58.0 +9:31.9
9 Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
Ford Focus RS WRC 05 A
9
3:07:05.5 +9:39.4
10 Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
10
3:08:39.5 +11:13.4
11
MT
Luis Perez Companc
Jose Maria Volta
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
11
3:09:26.4 +12:00.3
12 Andreas Mikkelsen
Ola Floene
Ford Focus RS WRC 05 A
12
3:13:28.8 +16:02.7
13 Kaj Kuistila
Kari Jokinen
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 A
13
3:13:56.3 +16:30.2
14
MT
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
14
3:15:33.3 +18:07.2
15 Patrik Flodin
Maria Andersson
Subaru Impreza N
1
3:18:01.8 +20:35.7
16 Khalid Al Qassimi
Nicky Beech
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
15
3:19:23.9 +21:57.8
17 Teemu Arminen
Seppo Varmavuo
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti N
2
3:21:37.2 +24:11.1
18
J
Patrik Sandell
Emil Axelsson
Renault Clio 2.0 16V A
16
3:25:14.5 +27:48.4
19
J
Kalle Pinomaki
Tuomo Nikkola
Renault Clio 2.0 16V A
17
3:26:33.6 +29:07.5
20 Maris Neiksans
Maris Jekabsons
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
3:27:11.8 +29:45.7
../
24 Alessandro Brushetta
Edoardo Civiero
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
5
3:30:59.1 +33:33.0
26 Priit Saluri
Indrek Lepp
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
6
3:33:11.6 +35:45.5
31 Jasper Van Den Heuvel
Martine Kolman
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
9
3:34:49.1 +37:23.0
32 Michele Tagliani
Benedetta Pericotti
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
10
3:36:46.2 +39:20.1
35 Andrzej Mancin
Ciupka Ryszard
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
11
3:38:27.8 +41:01.7
39 Pekka Savela
Pasi Lahtinen
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII A
26
3:43:12.7 +45:46.6
48 Fabrizio de Sanctis
Luri Rosignoli
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
33
3:52:53.1 +55:27.0
49 Pekka Vihma
Kim Niemela
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
16
3:52:54.4 +55:28.3
53 Reijo Muhonen
Jorma Kopsa
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
20
3:58:26.7 +1:01:00.6
58 Jouni Arolainen
Johanna Koskinen
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
23
4:03:18.1 +1:05:52.0
60 Juha Keurulainen
Soini Liimatainen
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
25
4:06:29.8 +1:09:03.7
63 Ari Laivola
Antti Virjula
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
28
4:09:17.5 +1:11:51.4
67 Jarmo Komsi
Matti Kangas
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
38
4:31:11.6 +1:33:45.5
70 Tony Ahti
Mika Joensuu
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
40
4:41:03.6 +1:43:37.5


TOP
MOTOR SPORTS