M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s three EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs hold station at this weekend’s Rally Finland – line astern to take what could be vital points out of their main championship rivals.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“I think it’s fair to say that we would have liked to have shown a little more speed this weekend, but at the same time we’re on target to achieve our goal and close the gap in all three championships.
“Hats off to the guys running at the front – they’ve been free to take the risks and have been setting some impressive pace. For us, it’s always disappointing not to be in the fight, but we have to keep the bigger championship picture in mind this weekend.”
SUNINEN AND MARKKULA
Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula had been hoping to challenge for a podium position through today’s stages, but the pairing struggled for confidence through the morning loop and lost time to their rivals as a result.
Making some changes to the set-up of their Fiesta during the midday service break, the Finns returned to the stages rejuvenated. With a better feeling behind the wheel, Suninen was better prepared to push and his times improved.
SS12: 6th (+14.3)
SS13: 9th (+12.5)
SS14: 6th (+14.5)
SS15: 9th (+6.4)
SS16: 5th (+3.2)
SS17: 4th (+3.2)
SS18: 6th (+9.6)
SS19: 8th (+5.7)
Teemu Suninen (6th) said:
“We made some good progress throughout the day and were able to make the car a bit faster during the midday service. In the second loop I had a much better feeling for the car and was able to set some much better times. We’re still missing a bit of pace compared to the guys at the front, but I was able to beat both of my team mates which means I can be happy with my day and my driving.”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are on course to take points out of their championship rivals at this weekend’s Rally Finland – their Fiesta holding seventh place while their chief opponents languish in tenth overall.
Having to keep one eye on the championship, the French pairing could not afford to take the same risks as those at the head of the field – reining in that little bit of ‘sisu’ which makes a big difference through Finland’s high-speed stages.
SS12: 9th (+21.5)
SS13: 8th (+11.8)
SS14: 7th (+15.6)
SS15: 7th (+4.9)
SS16: 7th (+3.5)
SS17: 7th (+8.6)
SS18: 7th (+10.0)
SS19: 5th (+3.2)
Sébastien Ogier (7th) said:
“Performance wise, it’s not been the weekend we wanted – but we are ahead of Thierry [Neuville] which is always the main target. We’re still in a position to close the gap in the championship, and that is a positive.
“We all expected the Toyotas to be the benchmark this weekend, but we were hoping to be closer too. We’re happy about the new package of parts, but with only one day of testing it was going to be a bit of a risk. We’ve used today as another test session, but we still have some work to do before we’re where we ultimately want to be.”
EVANS AND BARRITT
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt currently hold eighth place at Rally Finland. Delivering a clean and tidy drive behind the wheel of their Fiesta, the Brits continue to hold station – safeguarding what could be vital manufacturer points on tomorrow’s closing stages.
SS12: 7th (+17.7)
SS13: 6th (+10.2)
SS14: 9th (+21.0)
SS15: 6th (+4.6)
SS16: 8th (+4.1)
SS17: 8th (+11.8)
SS18: 5th (+9.3)
SS19: 10th (+8.5)
Elfyn Evans (8th) said:
“It’s not been a bad day and all three of us have been fighting quite closely together – although for sure we’d all like to have been fighting a bit higher up the leader board! We lost a bit of time this afternoon as I didn’t want to take the risks. We’ve got to play the team game and whatever happens we won’t be finishing ahead of Sébastien [Ogier] so it wasn’t worth taking the risks.”
1. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:13:18.2
2. Mads Østberg / Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +39.0
3. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +44.4
4. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:20.6
5. Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshal (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:29.6
6. Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:45.1
7. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:07.6
8. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:17.9
9. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2:56.4
10. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3:34.5