by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 126
WRC PREVIEW >> Ford needs a win to stop Citroen setting a new consecutive-wins total ... the blue oval drivers are ‘at home’ so it could be their best chance. Martin Holmes previews Neste Oil Rally Finland Round eight of the WRC, start of the second half of the 2011 season, has attracted the biggest total entry for any world championship event for more than 10 years, with the entry list at 124 cars in total, of which 41 are Ford Fiestas of one sort or another. In addition to the usual battle between Citroen and Ford, the BMW Mini team is now ready to become regular challengers after a long and exhaustive testing period. After last year’s experimental basic two-day event with only one opening first evening stage, the event reverts to a three-day format, the first three-stage leg being run through Thursday evening, with the usual two overnight halts. It will be a truly huge and intense event, the only event counting for all three supporting championships and the FIA’s historic cars series as well. Once again, Finland follows the FIA’s initiative of creating variety in events. Finland’s first speciality is short total stage length (314km compared with an average of 350km) with correspondingly a large proportion of liaison section driving. The second is the remote Friday service at Lahti, nearly 100km away from rally base at Jyvaskyla. The journey down to Lahti means that Friday’s route has the chance to make a full lap of the famous sprawling Paijanne, the second largest lake in the country, the first time the rally has done this since 1981 - in the days when NORF was called the ‘Rally of 1000 Lakes’. The stages in the Lahti area are reported to be very fast, with ultimate grip, except for Stage 5 – ‘Evo’, named after the local village, not a famous rally car – which is narrower and rocky. This format brings two major consequences. There is a far higher proportion of special stages on this event (eight of the total 15) used once which creates increased demands on recceing. For the first time in many years the recce will take place over a three-day period, starting Monday afternoon and finishing Wednesday afternoon, with a mammoth day on Tuesday, of over 800km driving. Long days and short nights will be the hallmark of this event, bad news for co-drivers whose already limited non- driving hours during recce must be given over to re-writing their pace-notes. WRC PREVIEW >> 43