Rally Finland officially got into action today, with a couple of free practice sessions and finally finished all hair-raising action at the Qualifying Stage. It was Latvala & then Ogier who were fastest in the first two tests, but it is the Qualifying Stage timing that counts.
‘s No.1 driver, the birthday boy, Mikko Hirvonen
– was the fastest with a time of 2m15.516s
and is expected choose to start last of the WRC cars tomorrow.
was the second fastest with a tiny lag of +0.248s
, while Thierry Neuville was short of +0.437s behind the leader. Novikov +0.500s, Latvala +0.742s, Mikkelsen +0.974s, Ostberg +1.361s, Hänninen +1.417s, Meeke +1.835s, Sordo +1.906, Nikara +2.673s, Andersson +3.294s, and Prokop with +4.723s finished the WRC class order.
Apart from the top level competition, we get to see the new M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 cars, with Elfyn Evans and Jari Ketoma taking on the challenge, with Robert Kubica to defend against this new breed of car and the most awaited of the return of the former World Rally Champ, Tommi Makinen doing the short SS Killeri. Pontus Tidemand the leader in JWRC class and will be the one to watch in the Junior WRC.
With the good choice of starting position, will Mikko be able to hold on to the advantage to a victory that has been evading him so long? Only time will tell !
The first car takes on the opening stage Himos 1 of the rally tomorrow at 12:15hrs, local time. Until then stay hooked for more updates.
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