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GP Week : 29-Apr-2008
1 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Jarmo Lehtinen 4:02:47.9 2 Dani Sordo Citroen Marc Marti +1:15.7 3 Chris Atkinson Subaru Stephane Prevot +4:59.5 4 Henning Solberg Ford Cato Menkerud +7:35.8 5 Matthew Wilson Ford Scott Martin +10:41.7 6 Federico Villagra Ford JP Companc +11:22.2 7 Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Miikka Anttila +12:15.6 8 Gigi Galli Ford G Bernacchini +12:24.4 JORDAN Points: Hirvonen 35, Loeb 30, Atkinson 28, Latvala 18, Sordo 17, Galli 12. Ford gets tactical ... While the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team used all their experience to win the Jordan Rally, their subsidiary teams formed a massively strong back up support. In the Stobart team Henning Solberg struggled with brake problems for a long way but never gave up and came fourth overall, ahead of Matthew Wilson. Gigi Galli missed two stages after spinning backwards into a bank, which damaged the rear differential oil cooler – but on Day 2 he scored three fastest times and was classified eighth. In the Argentina-based Munchi’s team car Federico Villagra finished sixth overall. The bravest story of all was the work of Barry Clark and his Argentinian co-driver Jose Diaz, in the second Munchi’s car, who finished 12th overall with no pre-event reconnaissance. Suzuki had a difficult rally, with neither driver finishing. Toni Gardemeister retired with a damaged engine after hitting a rock in the road and damaging his sump, while Per-Gunnar Andersson went off the road as well. IT came as a shock to many that Ford sought to manipulate their challenge for victory in Jordan Rally by asking their drivers to go slow, not fast! Up until 2001 the rules were clear. First on the road on morning restarts was the rally leader, but from 2002 until the end of 2007 the top 15 classified crews ran the following day in reverse order. Immediately the rule came under criticism, particularly when the rally leader Gilles Panizzi won the Tour de Corse in 2002, running 15th car on the road when a stage was prematurely stopped after the 14th car had passed. The winner therefore covered a shorter route than the crews he beat. It had deep significance, because Panizzi tackled the final stage of a loop with fresh tyres, competing against rivals whose tyres had been worn out. Instances of controversy on account of this rule continued over the years. Time penalties were incurred in many different ways, some blatantly, some discreetly, always in order to make a rival driver gain a temporary advantage - so the perpetrator had the ultimate benefit. Only this year has the old rule been revived - and look what happened! The BP Ford team had seen it all before and, long before the rally, knew what it meant when the next day was going to be long. ... and gets dominant Changing Fortunes: While Ford dominated in Jordan, Suzuki had a shocker, with both drivers retiring. 38