Loeb takes early lead in Finland

Sebastien Loeb took an early lead in the Rally Finland after the opening Superspecial stage this evening

Loeb takes early lead in Finland

The Citroen driver set a time of 1:21.4 as the sun set on the 2.05km Killeri 1 gravel spectator test, taking the early initiative before going into tomorrow's opening leg.

Should Loeb remain in the lead on Sunday evening, he will stand alone as the most successful rally driver of all time, having already equalled Carlos Sainz's wins record last weekend in Germany.

Loeb was 0.2 seconds ahead of an exuberant Petter Solberg, who got out of his Subaru to wave to the crowd while co-driver Phill Mills helped drive it back to time control.

Loeb, however, is not as confident he will be able to repeat the same level of pace through the rest of the weekend.

"The stage was good but is not same as all the stages in the forest tomorrow," Loeb said. "Still, it was a good run."

Mikko Hirvonen was the fastest of Ford's Finnish pair, just 0.5 seconds behind Loeb, with his teammate Marcus Gronholm sharing fourth place with Mitsubishi privateer Daniel Carlsson. The pair were exactly a second behind Loeb.

Gronholm, who has won five of the last six Rally Finland, was not concerned about being behind Loeb in the early running,

"I made two clear mistakes on my run and went wide each time, so I have no problem with my time," Gronholm said.

The rally proper begins tomorrow at 9:21 tomorrow morning local time, with the 24.98km Lankamaa stage.

Pos Driver Car Time 1. Loeb Citroen Xsara 1:21.4 2. Solberg Subaru Impreza 1:21.6 3. Hirvonen Ford Focus RS 1:21.9 4= Gronholm Ford Focus RS 1:22.4 4= Carlsson Mitsubishi Lancer 1:22.4 6= Atkinson Subaru Impreza 1:22.7 6= Katajamäki Ford Focus RS 1:22.7 6= Sordo Citroen Xsara 1:22.7 9. Solberg Peugeot 307 1:22.8 10 Honninen Mitsubishi Lancer 1:22.9 
shares
comments
Sordo keeps '06 Xsara until Cyprus

Previous article

Sordo keeps '06 Xsara until Cyprus

Next article

Gronholm moves into the lead

Gronholm moves into the lead
Load comments
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021