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Report
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 3: RALLY NORWAY
18 FEBRUARY 2007
LEG 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER TAKES SECOND IN GROUP N AT THE FINISH OF A DRAMATIC RALLY NORWAY FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

EYVIND BRYNILDSEN / VERONICA ENGAN
 

JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA
 

ANDREAS AIGNER / KLAUS WICHA
 
Rising Norwegian rally star Eyvind Brynildsen collected the Group N runners-up spot at today’s finish of the inaugural Rally Norway in Hamar. The 19-year-old Brynildsen was on the pace at the front of the production category, despite only having limited experience of the sport and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution he was driving.

Brynildsen had nothing but praise for his Lancer Evolution IX, but admitted he was disappointed at just missing out on winning the Group N class outright. He and co-driver Veronica Engan thrilled their home Norwegian fans with a great run through the fantastic snowy stages. The cold weather provided the perfect backdrop for the World Rally Championship’s second winter rally, following last week’s Swedish Rally.

Brynildsen said: "The car has been great, really our Mitsubishi didn’t give us any problems throughout the rally. I made a couple of mistakes, some silly mistakes. I had some spins on some stages, which meant I had to take reverse. When this has happened, then I am losing too much time to the other cars. I will be working on this in the future. I would have loved to have won Group N here, so I have to tidy up my driving."

Andreas Aigner was third in Group N in another Mitsubishi Lancer. His only concern was the bumpy nature of some of the stages. Both Mitsubishi’s trailed the Subaru of Patrik Flodin home.

At the front of the field, Toni Gardemeister had set a stunning initial pace in his Lancer WRC05. The Finn attacked through the opening leg of stages south of Hamar and held a comfortable fifth overall after a mechanically trouble-free day in the Mitsubishi. Gardemeister’s hopes of moving up the leaderboard were dashed, however, when he slipped off the road on the first stage of leg two. His Lancer was stuck on a snowbank for 22 minutes before the spectators could get the car back on the road.

"I was going flat-out in fourth gear," said Gardemeister. "When the rear of the car got on some loose snow and started to spin. I thought we would be okay, but then the car went on the bank and was ditched. The front of the car was on the road, but we couldn’t do anything. No spectators came for some time, when they did we were able to get going again. It’s very frustrating. All I could do after that, was drive as fast as I could, try to set some fast times and enjoy myself on the stages. The car ran well again on this event, it was just a little bit of bad luck, otherwise we could have been really near the top of the results. We decided not to restart the final leg because we didn’t want to risk damaging the car."

Gardemeister’s team-mate Xavier Pons went off the road on the final stage, having set ever-improving times through the opening two legs. Just prior to going off to road on the second run through Elverum, Pons guided his Lancer WRC05 to fastest time on the Hamar 2 test. He was classified 16th at the end of the rally, just one place ahead of Finland’s Juho Hanninen in another Lancer WRC. Hanninen had set some good times in just his second event aboard the Lancer, but dropped time in a snowbank on leg two.

For the second week in succession, Ford celebrated a world championship win, although it was Mikko Hirvonen rather than Marcus Gronholm who took the victory. Gronholm followed his Swedish win of seven days ago with the runners-up spot in Norway. Henning Solberg clinched third to the delight of the Norwegian fans.



 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
1
3:28:17.0 **:**.*
2
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
2
3:28:26.5 +9.5
3
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
3
3:32:01.6 +3:44.6
4
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
3:32:18.1 +4:01.1
5
MT
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
5
3:33:47.7 +5:30.7
6 Gigi Galli
Giovanni Bernacchini
Citroen Xsara WRC A
6
3:35:22.2 +7:05.2
7
MT
Daniel Carlsson
Denis Giraudet
Citroen Xsara WRC A
7
3:37:40.7 +9:23.7
8 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
Skoda Fabia WRC A
8
3:40:06.9 +11:49.9
9 Rune Dalsjo
Jens Olav Lovhoiden
Subaru Impreza S9 A
9
3:41:48.8 +13:31.8
10 Andreas Mikkelsen
Ola Flone
Ford Focus Rs WRC 04 A
10
3:42:45.7 +14:28.7
11 Patrik Flodin
Maria Andersson
Subaru Impreza N
1
3:43:03.6 +14:46.6
12
MT
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Citroen Xsara WRC A
11
3:45:21.6 +17:04.6
13 Eyvind Brynildsen
Veronica Engan
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
2
3:45:35.0 +17:18.0
14
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen C4 A
12
3:46:30.4 +18:13.4
15 Tord Linnerud
Ragnar Engen
Ford Focus WRC A
13
3:46:43.9 +18:26.9
16 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 A
14
3:47:10.1 +18:53.1
17 Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 A
15
3:47:36.7 +19:19.7
18
J
Per Gunnar Andersson
Jonas Andersson
Suzuki Swift S1600 A
16
3:49:37.9 +21:20.9
19
M
Chris Atkinson
Glenn MacNeall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
17
3:52:18.7 +24:01.7
20 Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
3:53:41.4 +25:24.4
../
22 Hans-Erik Weng
Roger Gunnarsson
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
4
3:58:09.2 +29:52.2
27 Thomas Kvam
Stian Johnsen
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
6
4:04:46.4 +36:29.4
31 Denis Levyatov
Victor Timkovski
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
9
4:07:18.4 +39:01.4
34 Mikael Gustafsson
Lars-Erik Kronberg
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
11
4:09:47.3 +41:30.3
35 Pelle Erland
Tormod Kvisler
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
24
4:09:50.4 +41:33.4
43 Per Erik Brynildsen
Roy Espen Olsen
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
15
4:19:15.4 +50:58.4
51 Igor Sokolov
Vasily Mirkotan
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
21
4:41:36.9 +1:13:19.9
53 Robert Jacobssen
Gustav Rogstad
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI N
22
4:45:13.5 +1:16:56.5
54 Renee Pohl
Silver Kutt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
23
4:46:49.1 +1:18:32.1
55 Riccardo Errani
Stefano Casado
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
24
4:47:50.1 +1:19:33.1
56 Einar Staff
Kim Staff
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
32
4:48:43.4 +1:20:26.4
57 Milan Liska
Tomas Plachy
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
25
4:49:46.4 +1:21:29.4
58 Andrew Grant
Glenn Goldring
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
26
4:52:26.8 +1:24:09.8
64 Sergey Sarkisov
Aleksander Kornilov
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
29
5:19:09.0 +1:50:52.0


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