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GP Week : Issue 128
Emotions were profound at the end of the Neste Oil Rally Finland. Tiredness was everywhere, not helped by the official results not being published until 00.40 the following morning, 3h40m after the provisional results were issued, and after the headquarters complex was locked up for the night! The almost predictable delays in publication of results because of the new end-of-rally Power Stage on WRC rallies is creating considerable irritation in the media world. More emotion was the despair felt by the Finnish fans, seeing how badly their heroes fared. Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen’s chances expired on Stage 1, while team-mate Jari- Matti Latvala’a car was never in a driver- happy set-up spec. The cars of their two local hopes, Matti Rantanen (best private entry in 2008) and Jari Ketomaa (which led after Stage 1) ended up in the bushes. There was widespread surprise that Ketomaa chose to slow on Stage 2, in the mistaken belief that it might improve his Day 2 running order chances when an overnight lead for a privateer would have provided immensely positive publicity. There were only two Finns in the top eight, and three Norwegians in the top seven! The third best Finn was Kimi Raikkonen in ninth place. Late results show not enough Finns WRC NEWS >>