Bottas claims stage win, finishes fifth on rallying debut in Fiesta

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas claimed a stage win on his rallying debut in Finland, finishing fifth overall on the Arctic Lapland Rally driving a Ford Fiesta WRC

Bottas claims stage win, finishes fifth on rallying debut in Fiesta

Bottas, driving a car similar in spec to those currently being driven by M-Sport's World Rally Championship drivers, was competing against Finnish championship drivers, who were in less powerful R5-specification machinery used in the world championship's WRC2 support category.

After a slow start - Bottas set only the seventh- and ninth-fastest times on the opening two stages of the event - he had climbed to fifth place by Friday afternoon, a position he would hold until the finish.

Bottas was also able to claim a stage win on the short 2.17-mile Mantyvaara test, edging out Finnish championship regular Henrik Pietarinen by 2.3s.

He spent much of the rally chasing Skoda Fabia driver Pietarinen for fourth place but his challenge faded on the final two stages, both of which were won by Pietarinen.

Bottas was co-driven by Marcus Gronholm's long-time navigator Timo Rautiainen, with whom Gronholm claimed his WRC titles in 2000 and '02.

Gronholm's son Niclas, who has spent the last three seasons competing in World Rallycross, was also competing on a rally with a co-driver for the first time, driving a Skoda Fabia for the Printsport team that previously ran Citroen WRC driver Esapekka Lappi in the world championship's SWRC support category in 2012.

He was forced to retire with a technical issue on the first day but charged back from 68th to 17th under Rally2 rules after Saturday's five stages.

Former Ferrari F1 driver Mika Salo was also competing in an identical Printsport Fabia, recovering from 43rd place after stage one to finish 11th.

The rally was won by Emil Lindholm, the son of former Peugeot factory driver Sebastian, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Picture courtesy of Taneli Niinimaki / AKK

shares
comments
Monte Carlo Rally WRC: Ogier holds off Neuville ahead of final day
Previous article

Monte Carlo Rally WRC: Ogier holds off Neuville ahead of final day

Next article

Monte Carlo Rally WRC: Neuville edges closer to Ogier, Tanak third

Monte Carlo Rally WRC: Neuville edges closer to Ogier, Tanak third
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021