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 Post subject: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2009, 18:02  
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Loeb clinches Rally Ireland victory

Sebastien Loeb has commenced his quest for a sixth successive World Rally Championship in perfect style by clinching Rally Ireland victory.

The Frenchman led a commanding Citroen one-two ahead of teammate Dani Sordo, with Ford's Mikko Hirvonen a distant third.

Such a result looked highly unlikely on Friday morning when Loeb chose the wrong tyres for the sodden Irish roads and lost 42 seconds to early leader Jari-Matti Latvala in the opening stage alone.

Latvala then damaged his Ford in SS2 and had to retire, allowing Stobart Ford's Urmo Aava - who, like Latvala, had chosen extreme winter tyres - to take a shock lead.

But Loeb was soon into his stride, and soon after switching to 'snow' tyres at the first service, he moved into the lead and proceeded to pull away, winning by nearly a minute and a half.

"It was a really tough rally, I'm really happy to take these 10 points here," said Loeb.

"Tarmac is important for me, and a difficult rally like this is tricky for everyone. I could have made a mistake, but no, we are here and we won the rally. I will try to continue like this."

Sordo was equally comfortable in second after the chasing Hirvonen was slowed by power steering problems on Saturday morning.

"It's a really, really good result to start the year," said Sordo. "I'm really happy for me and for the team - it's a great weekend. The conditions were really bad and there were some crazy stages with the water."

Hirvonen said he was content with a podium in Ireland - and vowed to fight back in Norway in a fortnight.

"We had some problems and a wrong tyre choice, so I'm pleased with the six points," he said. "Of course I was hoping I could fight with Sordo, but maybe another time. Norway next - I can't wait, it's definitely going to be a different story there. Now we start fighting for the title."

The battle for fourth came down to the final stages. Henning Solberg moved up into the position after his teammate Aava crashed on Friday afternoon, but Chris Atkinson was closing in as he acclimatised to the Citroen Junior C4, having lost a lot of time with a broken windscreen (after failing to secure his bonnet) and then an accident on Friday.

Atkinson finally overhauled Solberg this morning, only to go off the road again in the penultimate stage, losing over a minute and handing fourth back to the delighted - and surprised - Solberg, who traditionally struggles on asphalt.

"It's a big step for me, I am very, very happy," said Solberg.

The Norwegian had decided to switch back to the normal slick tyres for the final loop in a bid to re-pass Atkinson, who stayed on the winter rubber.

"At the end we made a mistake and I don't think we would have beaten him on these tyres," Atkinson said. "That's life, we've got to be happy with fifth."

Atkinson's Citroen Junior teammate Sebastien Ogier recovered from an over-cautious start and a Saturday morning mistake to take sixth, while the third Junior C4 of Conrad Rautenbach crashed out of a promising fifth just before half-distance.

Matthew Wilson (Stobart Ford) and Khalid Al Qassimi (Ford) completed the scorers - with the latter taking his first ever point.

Ninth-placed Eamonn Boland was the best of local privateers, ahead of the recovering Aava, although Gareth MacHale had run in the points before a variety of dramas on Saturday, and Niall McShea had held a staggering third place overall in his S2000 Proton after SS1 before hitting electrical problems. He rejoined under Superally for day two, but crashed out.

Aaron Bukart finally claimed his first Junior WRC win with a comfortable advantage over Martin Prokop. Burkart had won a tough early battle with Hans Weijs Jr, who then had a huge accident, while Prokop lost too much ground with a day one engine problem and an error.

Leading finishers:

Pos Driver Car Time
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2h48:25.7
2. Dani Sordo Citroen + 1:27.9
3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 2:07.8
4. Henning Solberg Ford + 6:32.4
5. Chris Atkinson Citroen + 7:51.9
6. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 10:44.0
7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 11:23.8
8. Khalid Al Qassimi Ford + 14:07.9
9. Eamonn Boland Subaru + 15:23.4
10. Urmo Aava Ford + 15:35.4

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2009, 15:13  
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Yes, the season starts with a familiar pattern. Loeb, Sordo, Hirvonen. And Latvala retires...

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 26 Apr 2009, 18:22  
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Loeb 5 wins in a row

Loeb 50
Sordo 31
Hirvonen 30

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 13 Jun 2009, 08:17  
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Sebastien Loeb has crashed out of the Acropolis Rally on the first stage of leg two.

The world champion had been running third when the accident happened eight kilometres into the stage.

Initial reports suggest that Loeb's Citroen was severely damaged and ended up some distance from the road, but the team has confirmed that both the Frenchman and his co-driver Daniel Elena are okay.

Mikko Hirvonen continues to lead the rally for Ford, with his advantage over second-placed Dani Sordo (Citroen) down to 1.8 seconds.

Loeb's accident has moved Petter Solberg into first place. If, as seems likely given early reports of the severity of the accident, Loeb cannot rejoin under superally rules tomorrow, this will be his first retirement since Sweden 2008.

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2009, 09:39  
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Loeb crashed out again today! On Rally Poland

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2009, 11:28  
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Recently, F1 and WRC resemble each other in a way that both championship leaders started to struggle. Maybe its'a bit early to say that for Button but Loeb were undoubtedly struggling in the last races. He had a chance to handover the lead to Hirvonen after Rally Poland.

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2009, 11:31  
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I think Loeb has been affected by his monster shunt in Greece: I mean, he's 35, married with a young daughter and he has all the records in WRC so he must be contemplating his future and becoming distracted and nervous after undoubtedly the biggest crash of his life

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2009, 14:45  
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Latvala :lol: :zz:
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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2009, 14:52  
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Citroen team orders :zz:

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 13:51  
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Räikkönen participating on Rally Finland.
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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 15:01  
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source please (for once I'm serious)

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 15:13  
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http://www.nesteoilrallyfinland.fi/atta ... -06253.pdf
:O

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 17:03  
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AzShadow wrote:
http://www.nesteoilrallyfinland.fi/attachements/2009-06-29T14-38-06253.pdf
:O


Raikkonen to contest Rally Finland

if there was any more of a sign Kimi's disinterested in F1 here it is...shows how F1 is failing if a former champion prefers WRC

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 17:25  
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Yeah I agree that participating in a Rally means that Kimi doesn't like F1 absolutely at all anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: World Rally Championship 2009
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2009, 17:28  
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AzShadow wrote:
Yeah I agree that participating in a Rally means that Kimi doesn't like F1 absolutely at all anymore.


well, not sure if thats sarcastic :O but if it is, then I have to partly agree as he's drifting into a different sport, whilst he's not connected at Ferrari, cold with them and as Massa said in F1 Racing this month, Kimi isn't proud to drive for Ferrari like most people would and the team havent warmed to him...then there's the Alonso rumour

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