Sebastien Loeb leads shakedown in Finland

Sebastien Loeb leads shakedown in Finland

30.07.2009: Citroen Total team driver Sebastien Loeb got his bid for a second Rally Finland victory off to a good start this morning by setting the fastest time at the pre-event Shakedown.

Citroen Total team driver Sebastien Loeb got his bid for a second Rally Finland victory off to a good start this morning by setting the fastest time at the pre-event Shakedown.



Last year Loeb became one of only four non Scandinavians to win Rally Finland since it was first run in 1951; this year he is aiming to become the first to win it twice.

The four-hour test took place on a 3.76km gravel stage located six kilometres from the Service Park in Jyvaskyla. The same piece of road was used for the Shakedown in 2008. Weather conditions remained dry and bright throughout with a temperature of 19 degrees Celsius.

Loeb made four passes through the stage in his C4 WRC, setting his quickest time of 2min 2.2sec on his final attempt. Read Loeb's Shakedown comments here. Citroen privateer Petter Solberg topped the time sheet for much of the session after stopping the clock on 2min 02.6sec on his second run.

"I think when Citroen saw my time in an old Xsara they sent Sebastien back out with warm tyres to try and beat me," joked Petter. "I was really pleased with my time, actually - the session went well. But the stage was twisty and loose so it suited my car and I could attack more - it's very different to the real stages."

Drivers' championship leader Mikko Hirvonen completed only two passes, setting a best time of 2min 03.7sec with his Focus RS WRC on his second run before declaring himself happy. "Like always in Finland the Shakedown stage isn't the best - it's not really representative and it gets really soft," he explained. "One or two runs to test clutches and that was it for us. We have made no changes after our pre-event test because everything is working fine."

The opening stage of the rally, the 2.4km Killeri Super Special, gets underway this evening at 1900hrs. Stage times will be streamed LIVE here on wrc.com.

Here are today’s Shakedown times from the leading WRC crews:


1. LOEB. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:02.2
2. P. SOLBERG. Citroen Xsara WRC. 2:02.6
3. SORDO. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:03.3
4. ÖSTBERG. Subaru Impreza WRC. 2:03.4
5. H. SOLBERG. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:03.7
5. HIRVONEN. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:03.7
7. WILSON. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:03.9
8. LATVALA. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:04.1
9. NOVIKOV. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:04.5
10. KETOMAA. Subaru Impreza WRC. 2:05.2
11. OGIER. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:05.7
12. RANTANEN. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:06.0
13. VILLAGRA. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:06.4
14. RAUTENBACH. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:07.2
15. AL QASSIMI. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:08.1

Full results, news and more on www.wrc.com 

photo copyright by Willy Weyens

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30.07.2009 / MaP

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