SS7: Latvala lands first Finland stage win

Latvala claims first stage win as Ogier closes on Loeb



29 July 2011 - 14:53
SS7: Latvala lands first Finland (...)

Sebastien Loeb’s lead of Neste Oil Rally Finland is down to 1.8s after he set a slower time than team-mate Sebastien Ogier through stage seven.

But Ogier wasn’t the only driver to make significant progress: Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala was faster than both Citroens - and quickest outright - to the extent he has closed to within 7.1s of Loeb.

“I didn’t really change anything to the car,” said Latvala. “The set-up is exactly the same. I ate and had treatment from my physio, which took the excitement away from my soul.”

Loeb said he’d been held back running first on the road due to expanses of loose surface gravel: “It’s getting bad now, very dry and I was sliding everywhere. There is no grip compared to some stages in the morning. I tried hard but it’s difficult.”

Ogier, who has never won Rally Finland, said: “It’s not bad but it’s difficult today because there is always a lot of time between each stage and we have to find the concentration all the time. We have done some small mistakes near the end of that stage but it’s not bad.”

Jari Ketomaa remains in fifth overall in his privateer Fiesta, 19.3s behind fourth-placed Petter Solberg. “I’m still doing some mistakes on slow corners because I can’t get the grip completely,” he said. “But I can’t complain, I just have to do my best.”

Solberg added: “The car is not so good now. We tried something [with the set-up] but it’s not perfect. It’s a little difficult to drive now.”

Kris Meeke continues to close on MINI team-mate Dani Sordo and is now 5.9s behind in seventh overall.

Standings after SS7:

01 S. LOEB / D. ELENA Citroën DS3 WRC 58m09.2s
02 S. OGIER / J. INGRASSIA Citroën DS3 WRC +1.8s
03 J. LATVALA / M. ANTTILA Ford Fiesta RS WRC +7.1s
04 P. SOLBERG / C. PATTERSSON Citroën DS3 WRC +27.9s
05 J. KETOMAA / M. STENBERG Ford Fiesta RS WRC +47.2s
06 M. ØSTBERG / J. ANDERSSON Ford Fiesta RS WRC +54.2s
08 K. MEEKE / P. NAGLE MINI WRC +1m09.7s
09 J. HANNINEN / M. MARKKULA Skoda Fabia S2000 +1m12.5s
10 O. TÄNAK / K. SIKK Ford Fiesta S2000 +1m18.3s
11 M. WILSON / S. MARTIN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m40.1s
12 M. HIRVONEN / J. LEHTINEN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m44.1s
13 E. NOVIKOV / D. GIRAUDET Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m45.5s
14 H. SOLBERG / I. MINOR Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m47.3s
15 K. RAIKKONEN / K. LINDSTRÖM Citroën DS3 WRC +1m48.7s


Motorsport news