Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team focus on another podium in Finland

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team focus on another podium in Finland

26.07.2009: Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson are preparing to take on one of the most hotly anticipated events on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Neste Oil Rally Finland

FIA World Rally Championship
Rally Finland, 30 July – 2 August 2009
Event Preview

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson are preparing to take on one of the most hotly anticipated events on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Neste Oil Rally Finland, the ninth round of the championship.  One of the oldest events on the calendar, Rally Finland is also a firm favourite with drivers and fans alike as it lives up to its fearsome reputation as the fastest rally of the year where only the most skilful and brave drivers will succeed.

The team arrive in Jyväskylä after a strong performance at Rally Poland, which saw Solberg and co-driver Cato Menkerud take their second podium finish of the season.  That rally proved to be excellent preparation for Rally Finland, with the fast, flowing stages giving the crews a taste of what to expect when they take on one of the calendar’s classic rallies next week.

Pre-event testing in their reliable Ford Focus RS WRCs in the lead up to the event should also ensure that both Stobart crews are on top form when the rally gets underway on Thursday night.

Solberg was frustrated by his car on the opening day of Rally Poland as he fought to find the right set-up.  But things came good for the Norwegian as the rally progressed and a hard-charging performance on the closing day saw him move up to take a hard-fought third place.  That result, and the knowledge gained from his experience in Finland last year where he was lying third after day 1, should put him in contention for another podium battle.

Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin also performed well in Poland and, with three years’ experience of Rally Finland now under his belt, Wilson is ready to make the step up from his previous best finish of ninth, in an event that is rarely won by anyone who did not grow up on the blisteringly fast roads of the Finnish lake district.

The rally gets underway on Thursday night with the traditional opening Super Special Stage at the Killeri trotting track where thousands of fans are expected to turn out and cheer on their idols over the 2.06km course.  A season-record 90 cars have been entered for the rally with competition set to be fierce throughout the field.

Around 50 per cent of the stages used in last year’s rally remain in the itinerary for this year’s edition but many others have been modified while three new stages have been introduced to the schedule.  Gone are the famous, but ultra-fast, Ouninpohja tests but the unique challenge of Rally Finland still remains.

Day 1 will take the crews to the north west of Service Park through 130.84kms of high-speed gravel roads where the accuracy of their pacenotes will be properly tested for the first time in the rally. Fearsome crests in the stages hide fast bends and the drivers will also have heavy demands placed on their concentration.

Day 2 features the longest stage of the rally SS19 Vaarinmaja at 29.29kms along with one of the rally’s new stages, SS18 Kavala where the Stobart team will be relying on the Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyres on the hard-packed gravel roads.  The last day of the rally provides just 47.44kms of stages before returning to Rally HQ at Paviljonki for the finish ceremony.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team news since Rally Poland

Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin set themselves the gruelling summer challenge of completing the Raid des Alpes, a 700km bike trek over some of the highest peaks in the French Alps.  The duo, along with trainer Barry Johnson, completed the ride from the shores of Lake Geneva to Antibes on the Mediterranean coast in less than a week. 

Wilson and Martin will take part in a short pre-rally test in Hauhanpohja on Monday to complete their preparations for the rally.

Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud will also test on Monday.  While Menkerud has been continuing his training for September’s Berlin Marathon, Solberg swapped his car for a boat as he joined brother Petter at the Norwegian round of the Class One World Powerboat Championship in Arendal.  Continuing the long-running family rivalry, Petter was fastest in practice but Henning took family honours in the race.

Solberg will be back in a car this weekend when he takes part in the third round of the Nordic Rallycross Championship in Strangnas, Sweden in his Ford Fiesta.


Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:

“Doing Rally Poland before Finland was really good preparation for us.  We picked up a lot of things in Poland, including changes with our pacenotes that will really help in Finland.  Hopefully we can get a good feeling with the car at the test.  It always helps to have some time in the car in Finland before the rally starts as it is such a technical event and the speeds are so high.  I’ve been there three times before so I’m in a much better position now as it is a rally where you do need experience.”

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:

“I’m feeling very upbeat after the podium finish in Poland although it took me a couple of days to settle into the characteristics of the rally there.  I hope that I will be able to start quicker in Finland.  It is an important rally for my sponsors Expert, who have a big presence in Finland, so it is imperative for me to get a good result for them.  I was third after day 1 last year and I hope that I can repeat that kind of pace this year; two podiums in two rallies would be amazing.”

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson said:

“Matthew has gained invaluable experience in this event over the past three years and is now ready to step up and take a good points finish for the Stobart team.  He and Scott learned a lot from their strong result at Rally Poland and should be able to translate that into another consistent and reliable performance in this challenging event. 

Henning has a good record at Rally Finland in recent years and we hope that he will be able to maintain the momentum that he built in the last rally to produce another excellent result for the team.”


Event Information

Date: 30 July-2 August 2009

Round: 9 of 12 FIA World Rally Championship

Based: Jyväskylä, Finland

Stage surface: Gravel

Total stage distance: 345.15km

Number of stages: 23

Longest stage: 29.29km (SS19) Vaarinmaja

Service Park: Jyväskylä Paviljonki

Super Special Stage: 2.06kms (SS1/SS10) Killeri


- Glenn Patterson -  photos Stobart


26.07.2009 / MaP

Weitere Beiträge

Munchi’s squad strengthened by local crews in Finland
FIA World Rally Championship Rally Finland, 30 July – 2 August 2009 Event PreviewAfter sitting out Rally Poland last month, the Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team resume their eight-rally FIA World Rally Championship programme next week at one of rallying’s classic events, Neste Oil Rally Finland.  Along with regular driver Federico Villagra, the weiter >>
Aaron Burkart - Rallye Finnland : Gut aufstellen für den Saisonendspurt!
Am kommenden Donnerstag beginnt der berüchtigte finnische Rallye WM-Lauf. Für Aaron Burkart wird es eine entscheidende Rallye sein im Kampf um die Junior WM-Krone. Ein gutes Ergebnis ist Pflicht um die Titelchancen zu wahren und die Meisterschaftsentscheidung auf die Rallye Catalunya zu vertagen. weiter >>
The Red Bull Rally Team gets in an additional start – this time with Juho Hänninen.
2009 World Rally Championship – Round 9Neste Oil Rally Finland, July 30th – August 2nd, 2009.Juho versus Kimi!Skoda factory driver Juho Hänninen is relying on BRR in the great Finnish duel against Formula 1 wor weiter >>
Wilks and Honda look back at amazing Rally Finland
Rally Finland. World Rally Championship 2008   Both British driver Guy Wilks and JAS Motorsport team principal Alessandro Mariani have described the performance of the new Honda Civic Type R R3 on the Rally Finland last weekend as "beyond our biggest expectations." The 2.0-litre Group R Honda, designed to meet technical regulations that limit weiter >>
Aaron Burkart: 5 Points – Erfolgreiches Rallye-Wochenende in Finnland
Aaron Burkarts intensive Vorbereitung auf den letzten Schotter WM-Lauf in diesem Jahr zeigte seine Wirkung: Er fuhr nicht nur wie erhofft in die Punkteränge, sondern schrammte zudem nur knapp am Podium vorbei. Etwas erleichtert schie weiter >>
Spectacular triumph in 2 wheel-drive for Honda and Wilks in Finland
Rally Finland, World Rally Championship 2008 The fastest 2 wheel-drive car in Finland : The Honda Civic Type R R3 British driver Guy Wilks has und weiter >>
Florian Niegel überzeugt beim finnischen WM-Lauf
Suzuki Rallye Junior Team Germany sammelt im Gruppe N Swift wichtige Schottererfahrungen Klassensieg nur knapp verpasst Nach der langen Sommerpause in der Junior R weiter >>
KNAF Talent First Team Holland: both teams score J-WRC points – perfect result....
NESTE OIL RALLY FINLAND – DAY 3 (SUNDAY) • Hans Weijs jr.: 8th place reward for hard team work, but not satisfied yet…. • Kevin Abbring: 6th place after impressive drive weiter >>
Rallye Finnland endet nach aufregendem Duell mit Rang 2 für Ford Pilot Mikko Hirvonen
• Hirvonen gewinnt sechs Wertungsprüfungen und verteidigt WM-Führung • Team BP Ford Abu Dhabi liegt in Konstrukteurs-Wertung weiter vorn Ford Focus RS-Werkspilot weiter >>
Points for Solberg and Stobart in Finnish WRC spectacular
FIA World Rally Championship Neste Oil Rally Finland, 3 August Round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship has seen an event of mixed fortunes for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team this weekend. Topping weiter >>
Citroën et le rallye en chiffres
Position des C4 WRC et écart par rapport au meilleur temps, spéciale par spéciale. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena-Dani Sordo/Marc Martí ES22 : Lan weiter >>
Loeb/Elena et Citroën : l'exploit de toute une équipe
58e Rally Finland (31 juillet-3 août 2008) La 58e édition du 'Rally Finland', 9e manche du Championnat du Monde WRC 2008, restera dans les annales. Au terme de la dernière étape, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena s'im weiter >>
Succès pour Prokop et la Citroën C2 Super 1600
58e Rally Finland (1-3 août 2008) Le rallye de Finlande, dernière épreuve sur terre de la saison pour les Juniors, s’est achevé ce midi par la spéciale de ‘Ruuhimäki’ où les pilotes ont pu s’adonner à de la ‘vol weiter >>
Luis Pérez Companc bows out of WRC after spectacular career
FIA World Rally Championship Neste Oil Rally Finland, 3 August It was an unfortunate end for Luis Pérez Companc/José María Volta after retiring on their final ever WRC event together at this weekend weiter >>
Conrad Rautenbach review
CONRAD RAUTENBACH Neste Oil Rally Finland FIA World Rally Championship, round 9/15   The event… Reigning FIA African Rally Champion Conrad Rautenbach became one of the few people ever to claim a top-10 finish on their Rally Finland debut in a Word Rally Car, when the event finished in Jyvaskyla this afternoon. Rautenbach, weiter >>
Loeb wins Rally Finland!
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb has won the 2008 Rally Finland and with it the 42nd WRC victory of his career. In an event which is historically dominated by local drivers, Loeb becomes only the fourth non Scandinavian to win the event since it weiter >>
WRC Rallyes - SS24- Ruuhimaki stage & overall results top20
FINLAND Rally - SS24- Ruuhimaki - stage results top20 1 5 SOLBERG Subaru 03:12.9 +00.0 2 3 HIRVONEN Ford 03:13.1 +00.2 3 15 AAVA Citroën 03:13.2 +00.3 4 4 LATVALA Ford 03:13.5 +00.6 5 1 LOEB Citroën 03:15.9 +03.0 6 20 RANTANEN Ford 03:16.0 +03.1 7 16 WILSON Ford 03:16.4 +03.5 8 19 MIKKELSEN Ford 03:16.7 weiter >>
WRC Rallyes SS23 - Hannula stage & overall results top20
FINLAND RALLY SS 23 - Hannula stage results top20 1 4 LATVALA Ford 05:43.8 +00.0 2 3 HIRVONEN Ford 05:48.7 +04.9 3 19 MIKKELSEN Ford 05:49.3 +05.5 4 16 WILSON Ford 05:52.1 +08.3 5 5 SOLBERG Subaru 05:52.9 +09.1 6 1 LOEB Citroën 05:55.1 +11.3 7 15 AAVA Citroën 05:56.0 +12.2 8 2 SORDO Citroën 05:56.3 +12. weiter >>
WRC Rallyes - SS22- Lankamaa stage & overall results top20
FINLAND Rally SS 22 - Lankamaa -stage results top20 1 3 HIRVONEN Ford 11:11.0 +00.0 2 1 LOEB Citroën 11:11.0 +00.0 3 4 LATVALA Ford 11:11.9 +00.9 4 15 AAVA Citroën 11:20.7 +09.7 5 6 ATKINSON Subaru 11:20.8 +09.8 6 5 SOLBERG Subaru 11:21.6 +10.6 7 20 RANTANEN Ford 11:22.0 +11.0 8 8 SOLBERG Ford 11:27.0 + weiter >>
WRC Rallyes - SS21 - Vaarinmaja    stage & overall results top20
FINLAND weiter >>
Citroën - Le rallye en chiffres jour 2
Position de la C4 WRC et écart par rapport au meilleur temps, spéciale par spéciale. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena -Dani Sordo/Marc Martí ES12 : Himos weiter >>
Jour 2 : Citroën, Loeb et Elena proches de l'exploit
58e Rally Finland (31 juillet-3 août 2008) Au terme de l'éprouvante deuxième étape du 58e 'Rally Finland', l'équipe Citroën Total a le sourire. En tête depuis jeudi soir, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena ont renforcé leur p weiter >>
KNAF Talent First Team Holland: pleased with 2nd day results and performance
NESTE OIL RALLY FINLAND – DAY 2 (SATURDAY) • Hans Weijs jr.: steep learning curve after ‘off the road’ and damage to the car…. • Kevin Abbring: some promising stage tim weiter >>
Jour 2 : Trois Citroën C2 Super 1600 dans le Top 5
58e Rally Finland (1-3 août 2008) Après une première journée de découverte vendredi, les pilotes se sont élancés aujourd’hui dans l’étape la plus longue. Trois séries de trois spéciales étaient à parcourir avec non moins de 168,25km chronométrés au programme. Martin Prokop s’est livré à une bataille ac weiter >>
Munchi's retirement
FIA World Rally Championship Neste Oil Rally Finland, 2 August Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team crew Federico Villagra and co-driver Jorge Pérez Companc have retired from competition on Neste Oil Rally Finland today after leaving the road 200 metres from the end of stage 20. In the incident their Munchi’s Ford Focus RS WRC07 caught fire but the pair were for weiter >>
Solberg flies the Stobart flag in Finland
FIA World Rally Championship Neste Oil Rally Finland, 2 August A tough second day on round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship sees Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud lying in fifth position overall. The pai weiter >>
WRC Rallyes - SS21 - Vaarinmaja stage & overall results top25
FINLAND RALLY - SS21 - Vaarinmaja stage results top25 1 1 LOEB Citroën 08:22.5 +00.0 2 3 HIRVONEN Ford 08:26.6 +04.1 3 4 LATVALA Ford 08:29.8 +07.3 4 6 ATKINSON Subaru 08:31.4 +08.9 5 15 AAVA Citroën 08:37.7 +15.2 6 8 SOLBERG Ford 08:38.5 +16.0 7 2 SORDO Citroën 08:38.5 +16.0 8 5 SOLBERG Subaru 0 weiter >>
WRC Rallyes -SS 20 - Juupajoki stage & overall results top25
FINLAND RALLY SS20 - Juupajoki stage results top25 1 4 LATVALA Ford 10:57.4 +00.0 2 1 LOEB Citroën 11:04.2 +06.8 3 3 HIRVONEN Ford 11:06.8 +09.4 4 6 ATKINSON Subaru 11:07.0 +09.6 5 19 MIKKELSEN Ford 11:17.6 +20.2 6 2 SORDO Citroën 11:17.7 +20.3 7 5 SOLBERG Subaru 11:18.6 +21.2 8 15 AAVA Citroën 1 weiter >>
WRC Rallyes - SS19 - Kakaristo 2 stage & overall results top25
FINLAND RALLY SS19- Kakaristo 2 stage results top25 1 3 HIRVONEN Ford 10:34.7 +00.0 2 4 LATVALA Ford 10:35.9 +01.2 3 1 LOEB Citroën 10:38.0 +03.3 4 5 SOLBERG Subaru 10:46.1 +11.4 5 6 ATKINSON Subaru 10:47.2 +12.5 6 2 SORDO Citroën 10:50.3 +15.6 7 8 SOLBERG Ford 10:51.8 +17.1 8 15 AAVA Citroën 10: weiter >>


© 2001-2017 full copyright