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Old 02-12-2009, 02:02 PM
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2009 Rally Norway

Taken from wrc.com

Quote:
Round 2

Categories:
WRC, P-WRC

Based:
Hamar

Surface:
Ice and snow covered gravel

Most recent winner:
Mikko Hirvonen (2007)

Rally website:
Rally Norway - Norwegian WRC rally

Rally Norway was first included in the WRC in 2007. Like its sister event, Rally Sweden, Norway is an all-snow round, making it one of only two in the series.

Based only 250km from Rally Sweden's host town of Karlstad, Norway's snow covered stages are similar but generally narrower and more technical. Like Sweden, however, Norway is an extremely fast rally. The speed will have to be tempered with caution though. Roadside snow-banks will offer a cushion for the lack of grip, but as always, they may be as dangerous as they are helpful.

The rally is based from the town of Hamar which, along with its neighbouring city of Lillehammer, hosted much of the action of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. The Service Park is located inside the 'Viking Ship', a spectacular dome-like structure in Hamar which was used for indoor sports during the Olympics.

As with Finland and Sweden, Norway will allow local Scandinavian talent to shine on a surface that most WRC drivers experience only once a year.
New for 2009

Lots of snow - hopefully. The WRC's winter fixture in 2008 - Rally Sweden - was a slush-fest, with mild temperatures and very little snow. The 250km trip north from Karlstad to Hamar should provide temperatures as low as -30C and all but guarantee snow. This year's rally also marks the debut of Pirelli's new snow tyre. The steel spikes remain but the tread is as wide as a gravel tyre.

Last edited by LotusLocost; 02-12-2009 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:04 PM
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Also from wrc.com

Quote:
SS1: Dream start for Petter!

Petter Solberg made a dream start to his home round of the World Rally Championship by setting the fastest time on Thursday’s opening stage of Rally Norway and taking the overnight lead.

On his debut event in his eight-year-old Citroen Xsara, Solberg was quickest around the 1.92km Super Special, to the delight of the tens of thousands of Norwegian fans who had braved the -13°C temperature to watch the night time action.

Forced to create his own team after Subaru’s withdrawal from the series left him without a drive this year, the result was a fairytale comeback for Solberg, who missed the first round of the season in Ireland.

“It’s incredible! We’re back in business!” he said. “That was really good fun! I even had to do a proper clutch start on the line - everybody else had launch control but with this car it’s like going back to my old rallycross days!”

BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team driver Mikko Hirvonen was second fastest, six-tenths of a second slower than Petter, but happy to be ahead of Sebastien Loeb. “It’s not much of a gap over Sebastien - but at least it’s a start!” he said. “It's a great way to begin the rally but the action begins for real tomorrow in the forests. I’m happy for Petter though - I knew before the event that he’d be back fighting for the lead again.”

Sebastien Loeb was third fastest in his Citroen C4 WRC, one-tenth slower than Hirvonen, and happy to see his old Xsara set another stage win. “Petter has a good car now,” he said. “Some of my best rallying memories are from when I was driving that car!

Norwegian Mads Ostberg was fourth fastest in his Adapta Rally Team Subaru Impreza. “That was great, and really good for my confidence,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of work on the car since last year. A lot has changed and we’re getting happier and happier. Hopefully we can have a good result this weekend.”

All of the leading WRC crews completed the stage in one piece, although Citroen driver Dani Sordo was frustrated to have lost time near the start. “I changed too quickly between first and second gear and stalled the engine!” explained Sordo. “I reckon that must have cost me about five seconds. But there’s nothing wrong with the car - it’s okay.”

After the stage, crews returned to the Hamar Service Park from where the rally will restart on Friday morning.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:08 PM
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Standings so far:

1) Petter Solberg, Norway (Citroën Xsara) 1.32,8,
2) Mikko Hirvonen, Finland (Ford Focus) + 0,6 sec
3) Sebastien Loeb, France (Citroën C4) + 0,7
4) Mads Østberg, Norway (Subaru Impreza) + 1,2
5) Jari-Matti Latvala, Finland (Ford Focus) + 2,3
6) Dani Sordo, Spain (Citroën C4) + 3,0
7) Urmo Aava, Estonia (Ford Focus) + 3,4
8) Henning Solberg, Norway (Ford Focus) + 4,2
9) Matthew Wilson, GB (Ford Focus) + 4,7
10) Anders Grøndal, Norway (Subaru Impreza) + 5,3
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:47 PM
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Good to see someone's still running Imprezas.
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicFromLA View Post
Good to see someone's still running Imprezas.
When the leading driver is driving a Xsara, there's no suprise in someone using an Impreza.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:24 AM
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Taken from wrc.com

Quote:
Friday’s start list

Citroen Total drivers Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were the first to check-out of the overnight Parc Ferme in Hamar this morning.

As leaders of the drivers’ championship standings, Loeb and Elena will tackle each of Friday’s stages first, followed by the crew in second place, Dani Sordo / Marc Marti and then the BP Ford crew of Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen.

Weather conditions were fine and cold as crews left the cover of the Viking Ship Service Park to begin the journey south to the first Opaker stage. At 0800hrs the temperature in Hamar was -19°C, but on the stages it was four degrees colder. There is a chance of some light snow fall later today.

Here is the start list for today’s leading 25 competitors:

1. Loeb
2. Sordo
3. Hirvonen
4. H. Solberg
5. Ogier
6. Wilson
7. Boland
8. Aava
9. Latvala
10. Rautenbach
11. Novikov
12. P. Solberg
13. M. Ostberg
14. P-G Andersson
15. Grondal
16. Van Merksteijn Jr.
17. Van Merksteijn Sr.
18. Sandell
19. Prokop
20. Araujo
21. Sousa
22. Flodin
23. Arai
24. Brynildsen
25. Mikkelsen
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:40 AM
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Despite his country of origin (and his poor English) I am rooting for Solberg on this one!
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:59 AM
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after SS3 Loeb has taken the lead, followed by Hirvonen less than a second behind...
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wouter Melissen View Post
Despite his country of origin (and his poor English) I am rooting for Solberg on this one!
Is it something wrong with Norway now??

And yeah, it would be great to see him do a good rally in that old Citröen!
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:15 AM
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props to Solberg, and best luck to him!
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2009, 07:22 AM
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Standings after SS5

1. Mikko HIRVONEN 45:25.9

2. Sebastien LOEB 45:32.3 +6.4 +6.4

3. Jari-Matti LATVALA 45:49.3 +17.0 +23.4

4. Dani SORDO 46:15.5 +26.2 +49.6

5. Petter SOLBERG 46:28.9 +13.4 +1:03.0

6. Henning SOLBERG 46:47.2 +18.3 +1:21.3

7. P-G ANDERSSON 46:55.3 +8.1 +1:29.4

8. Urmo AAVA M 46:57.7 +2.4 +1:31.8

9. Matthew WILSON 47:05.8 +8.1 +1:39.9

10. Sebastien OGIER 47:06.3 +0.5 +1:40.4

Quote:
SS5: Mikko Hirvonen leads Rally Norway after the morning loop

Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen arrived at Friday’s midpoint service in first place on Rally Norway, with a 4.8sec lead over his nearest rival Sebastien Loeb.

Hirvonen won three of the morning’s four stages, and has been involved in a close battle with defending world champion Loeb.

At the 15-minute remote service zone in Kongsvinger, Hirvonen was excited about the prospect of more close combat with his Citroen rival. “It’s been a good morning, it looks like there’s going to be a really big fight - and that’s how it should be!” he said. “My road position is okay, but I’d be happy to be first car as well - I don’t think there’s much difference between the two places. It doesn’t really matter - this afternoon the plan is flat-out all the way.”

As first driver through the stages, Sebastien Loeb found conditions tough on the morning loop - especially on sections of softer packed snow - but he too was happy with his rally so far. “At the moment it’s good,” said Loeb. “As first car I’m expecting the roads to be just as difficult on the repeat pass, when I’ll be in the tracks of all the other cars. But I’ve kept in contact and that’s what I wanted to do. There’s still a very long way to go. I’m very happy with the car; I don’t think we will make any big changes in service.”

Jari-Matti Latvala holds third in the second BP Ford Abu Dhabi team Focus. Having won the most recent WRC winter round in Sweden last year, Latvala had expected to do well today and capitalise on his start position of ninth on the road. “I thought I was driving well, then I saw the splits and I don’t understand why I’m losing time - perhaps I’m being too aggressive,” he said. “I thought being further back on the start order would be better, but it seems on these new wide tyres it’s almost a penalty.”

Loeb’s Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo is fourth, but keen to alter the set-up of his C4 WRC at the remote service. “I’m not happy with the handling at all,” he said.

Norway’s Petter Solberg rounded off the top five after losing his overnight lead on Friday’s opening stage. “If it wasn’t for our stop earlier, things would be fine,” said Petter. “It feels good but I’ve only driven this car for two days, so it’s still a little bit different. In high grip sections it’s good but I still need to improve my confidence on the loose snow.”

Petter’s elder brother Henning is sixth and the leading Stobart VK M-Sport Ford entry. Arriving at service 1min19sec adrift of Hirvonen’s total time, the Norwegian was hoping set-up changes could improve his pace in the afternoon. “We have to try something in service. I’m still aiming for the podium,” he said.

Henning’s team-mate Urmo Aava is seventh after a steady start. “Maybe I’ve been a little bit too relaxed so far, but we’re tying to stay on the road.” He said. “Maybe this afternoon we’ll try to find a bit more speed. It’s not a disaster, though.”
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:27 AM
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after SS8, same order, P. solberg still best of the rest. Loeb now 8 seconds behind.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:28 AM
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After Day 1, Loeb back in the lead, Solberg still 5th.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:33 AM
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Go Petter!
I hope he can maintain or improve his current position.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:43 AM
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Taken from wrc.com

Standings after day one:

1. Sebastien LOEB 1:13:41.7
2. Mikko HIRVONEN 1:13:44.3 +2.6 +2.6
3. Jari-Matti LATVALA 1:14:07.9 +23.6 +26.2
4. Dani SORDO 1:14:50.3 +42.4 +1:08.6
5. Petter SOLBERG 1:15:13.2 +22.9 +1:31.5
6. P-G ANDERSSON 1:15:13.3 +0.1 +1:31.6
7. Henning SOLBERG 1:15:21.1 +7.8 +1:39.4
8. Matthew WILSON 1:15:45.0 +23.9 +2:03.3
9. Sebastien OGIER 1:16:22.9 +37.9 +2:41.2
10. Urmo AAVA 1:16:23.2 +0.3 +2:41.5
11. Evgeny NOVIKOV 1:16:46.0 +22.8 +3:04.3
12. Conrad RAUTENBACH 1:17:13.3 +27.3 +3:31.6
13. Mads ØSTBERG 1:18:05.3 +52.0 +4:23.6
14. Patrik SANDELL 1:19:08.0 +1:02.7 +5:26.3
15. Armindo ARAUJO 1:21:16.9 +2:08.9 +7:35.2
16. Peter VAN MERKSTEIJN 1:21:35.4 +18.5 +7:53.7
17. Martin PROKOP 1:21:43.8 +7.8 +8:01.5
18. Andis NEIKSANS 1:22:09.5 +26.3 +8:27.8
19. Trond LYSENG 1:22:41.0 +32.9 +9:00.1
20. Andreas MIKKELSEN 1:22:46.7 +4.9 +9:05.0



Quote:
SS9: Sebastien Loeb takes the rally lead on Friday’s final stage

Mikko Hirvonen lost the lead of Rally Norway on Friday’s final stage, slipping 2.6sec behind Sebastien Loeb into second place.

The move sparked speculation that Hirvonen had surrendered the place deliberately in order to give himself a better road position on Saturday.

As things stand, Hirvonen will be the second driver through Saturday’s stages and may benefit from a racing line swept of loose snow by Loeb.

Hirvonen, however, insisted the switch was unintentional. “My rear tyres are completely finished - I tried really hard,” he said. “We had a lot more tyre wear than the Citroens. I’m missing lots of studs. This is definitely not what I wanted to do. Now we have a lot to make up. It’s going to be a big fight tomorrow.”

Loeb was unaware he was the new rally leader when he finished the stage, but thought road cleaning wouldn’t be a big factor on Saturday. “Its really good fun to drive like this,” said the Citroen Total team leader. “I pushed really hard, took some risks sometimes, but we’re here okay and in a good position for tomorrow. If I had a choice I would prefer to be second on the road but I really don’t think it will make a big difference.”

Jari-Matti Latvala completed the day third in his BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team Focus RS WRC. The Finn will start Saturday’s competition 23.6sec adrift of Hirvonen and with a podium finish in his sights. “Of course I want to apply some pressure,” he said. “This morning was bad but we’ve improved a lot this afternoon. Let’s see how we go.”

Loeb’s team-mate Dani Sordo holds fourth and is hoping for a better day on Saturday. “I lost lots of time in the slow parts and I need to study the data to understand why,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of studs left in my tyres - which didn’t help on the last stage - but I might need to alter my style of driving. Third place here is going to be difficult to achieve so my priority is to protect fourth - that wouldn’t be a bad result.”

Petter Solberg finished the day fifth, 22.9sec behind Sordo, and ruing a weight-saving tyre strategy: “We had a good morning and things were fine on the first stage this afternoon but I was the only car to take just one spare and that turned out to be a very stupid decision!” he said. “We lost a lot of studs. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is - we will keep pushing.”

After taking the first stage win of his career on SS6, and the second on SS7, P-G Andersson ended the day sixth, just one-tenth of a second behind Petter Solberg. “I’m going to take another two stage wins tomorrow!” said the Swede. “The second time through the stages today has been fantastic. We had plenty of grip. I think the position we have now is probably the best we can hope for, but we’ll see.”

Henning Solberg holds seventh place, 7.8sec behind Andersson, but determined to make rapid progress through the standings on Saturday. “With the gearbox problems we’ve had today it’s been difficult, but it will be okay,” he said. “I’ll drive on the limit tomorrow. I will be top three!”

Briton Matthew Wilson rounded off the points winning places in his Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Focus. Wilson said: “It’s been okay - we tried to keep it as neat and tidy as we could. This has been a day not to make any mistakes. I think tomorrow might be even better."
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