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Rally Finnskog (Norway) - (Sat) 4 Feb 12

Posted: February 5, 2012 8:30 PM - 4036 Hits

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Posted: February 5, 2012 8:30 PM

Useful test for Breen in Norway

Posted: February 5, 2012 8:02 PM

A use full test event for Craig Breen on Rally Finnskog (Norway) today included some consistent stage times but a minor accident on stage five curtailed his advance as the current 2012 SWRC leader prepares for next week’s World Rally Sweden, round two of the 2012 Super 2000 World Rally championship.
“Bedding in on the opening loop I was happy at the halfway point”, said the Irish driver who turned twenty-two during the week, “We did suffer from a misting wind screen over the morning stages but nothing too much. In service I decided to change the suspension settings and try a different approach but we hit one of the famous snow banks and the suspension got damaged, we tried to return to service and get back out for the final two tests but it wasn’t possible. I’m still happy very with our speed and the confidence is high now as we head to Sweden.

Over the first loop of stages Craig took a cautious approach over the opening Saturday morning loop slotting in at 4th in Super 2000 and 8th overall.
“It is my first snow event in twelve months and it takes time to bed in to the conditions. I’ve been here in Norway with a few days to brush up on my snow and ice driving. I’m treating this event as full test session for next week’s Rally Sweden and as of now everything is going to plan. We started steady on SS1 not taking any risks, then on stage 3 we had a good time so I’m happy so far. The cold temperatures are making it difficult”

After making some suspension settings in midday service, Craig hoped to up his pace over the second loop but on special stage five Craig had a minor accident when he hit a snow bank, causing suspension damage. He drove through the remaining part of the stage and returned straight to service hoping to get out for stages seven and eight but this was not possible.

Andreas warms up in -30°C ŠKODA run

Posted: February 5, 2012 7:58 PM

ŠKODA UK Motorsport driver Andreas Mikkelsen has successfully completed his second and final pre-season warm-up event by battling through -30°C temperatures and driving with frozen toes to finish 5th on Rally Finnskog.

Three weeks after winning the Mountain Rally, Andreas and co-driver Ola Fløene (who celebrated his 43th birthday on 1 February) were back in Norway to compete on another snow rally in their Intercontinental Rally Challenge title-winning ŠKODA Fabia S2000, which is now owned and run by the Evenrally team.

The extreme winter conditions were idea practice for this weekend’s Rally Sweden, with a great deal of snow and ice covering the eight forestry stages near the host village of Svullrya, situated 85 miles (137kms) north-east of Oslo.

A spin on SS3 and a puncture on SS7 denied Andreas hopes of S2000 victory, but he was pleased to have achieved what he’d set out to do on Rally Finnskog – find a good rhythm and pace on narrow studded snow tyres. He ended the event in typical style, setting a time on the final stage that was just 6.2 seconds behind rally winner Mikko Hirvonen and 6.5 seconds behind stage winner Mads Østberg, who were both driving more powerful World Rally Cars.

Andreas:
“Rally Finnskog was a very good test before Rally Sweden. The biggest difference between this rally and what I’m used to in the IRC were the snow tyres, so it was a very good test to get used to the narrower studded ones. I’m satisfied with the pace and overall it has been a great day. On the last stage I was just over six seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Østberg who were both running World Rally Cars, so I was really pleased about that.

“It has been terribly cold – the temperature dropped to minus thirty degrees and I have frozen toes. The stages were really nice and now I feel that I am where I should be before the WRC round in Sweden.”

The ŠKODA UK Motorsport driver will be on loan to Volkswagen Motorsport for the forthcoming Rally Sweden, which starts in Karlstad on Thursday night (9 February).

Andreas’ main focus for 2012 is the defense of his IRC Drivers’ title with ŠKODA UK Motorsport, which begins on the Sata Rallye Azores (23-25 February).

Mikko and Jarmo break the ice

Posted: February 5, 2012 7:56 PM

Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen overcame a variety of extreme conditions – snow, ice and temperatures of around -30° – combined with the handicap of being first out on the road to win the 2012 Rally Finnskog. The Finnish crew finished some 30.5s ahead of their nearest rival. The perfect “warm-up” for the DS3 WRC ahead of the second round of the World Rally Championship next week.

Competitors were greeted with arctic conditions this morning, but engines could be heard being fired up in the service park despite the glacial -32°C proudly displayed on the top of the buildings in the event’s nerve centre. The schedule for this one day rally featured 117 kilometres of special stages through forests in the Norwegian region of Svullrya. There were four timed stages in total, each to be completed twice, interspersed with three 30-minute service periods. The Citroe?n DS3 WRC began the first loop in the best possible fashion, setting the fastest time on all four stages, despite being first out on the road.

“Our feeling with the car improved the further we went. Going first meant we nonetheless had to clear the fine layer of snow covering the frozen ice”, explained Mikko. “We thought that the conditions would be better on the second runs, but they actually turned out to be more difficult due to the other competitors having completed their runs”.

The Nordic crew were however not far off the pace and held onto the lead in the second loop to claim top spot on the podium.

“We are very happy to have won, and especially to have beaten the other WRCs competing here. This has confirmed that we found the right set-up in testing. The conditions were similar to those we will have at Rally Sweden, so we’re confident. We have a very positive feeling. The DS3 WRC is genuinely quick in the most extreme conditions”, concluded the Finnish driver.

Results

Posted: February 5, 2012 7:52 PM

1. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroën DS3 WRC) 1hr 02mins 30.7secs
2. Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (Mitsubishi EVO) +30.5secs
3. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +49.8secs
4. P-G Andersson/Emil Axelsson (Proton) +2mins 56.6secs
5. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (ŠKODA Fabia S2000) +3mins 01.7secs
6. Eyvind Brynildsen/Cato Menkerud (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3mins 02.5secs
7. Anders Waterhouse/Trond Svendsen (Subaru Impreza N15) +5mins 08.1secs
8. Marius Aasen/Veronica Engan (Ford Fiesta S2000) +5mins 13.1secs
9. Anders Kjær/Morten Erik Abrahamsen (Renault Twingo R2) +10mins 42.6secs
10. Ole Morten Korsmo/Tore Hellerud (Volvo 240) +11mins 29.4secs

Craig Breen Rallying: Rally Finnskog Event Preview

Posted: February 4, 2012 8:38 AM

SWRC Championship leader Craig Breen will take on Rally Finnskog this Saturday as the 2011 WRC Academy Champion builds up to round two of the SWRC in Sweden next week.

Craig celebrated his 22nd birthday today by going skidooing, but taking a break in the -22 degree temperatures the Irish driver had time to talk about his result on the Monte and a look ahead to this weekend’s Rally Finnskog,
"We were delighted with our result on the Monte but it must be put into perspective, we were the only SWRC crew to finish. PG (Andersson, Proton) drove a flawless rally and was very unlucky when he was forced to retire. Don't get me wrong I was very happy to collect full points and getting a 25 point jump start in the championship is important but I would have preferred to take the victory on the stages."

The Irish driver decided just before the season opener in the Principality to add Rally Finnskog to his schedule.
"The plan this year was to go the John Haugland’s ice driving School in Geilo for a few days to brush up on my snow and ice driving, John is a family friend and he was in contact as I was testing in France (for the Monte) and informed us about (Rally) Finnskog and mentioned it would prove a great test session before SWRC Sweden. I’ve been here in Geilo at John’s School sense Tuesday putting up some mileage on the snow and ice, driving on this surface is so specialized that you can’t take anything for granted. I’m now looking forward to Saturday’s event.”

Rally Finnskog is a One-Day event based around the town of Svullrya. The rally covers 8 special stages four individual stages run twice, varying in length from 6.97 km’s to 23.78 Km’s

With only a week to SWRC Sweden the event has attracted a big number of WRC crews. Heading the field is Mikko Hirvonen

WRC Regulars to use Rally Finnskog as pre Sweden test

Posted: February 4, 2012 8:33 AM

Mikko Hirvonen, Henning Solberg (Evo 6.5), Mads Østberg, PJ Andersson, Andreas Mikkelsen, and Craig Breen are just some of the drivers using Rally Finnskog as a pre Sweden test.

Craign Breen - Rally Finnskog

Posted: February 4, 2012 8:31 AM

As the new WRC season is about to get underway in Monte Carlo, reigning WRC Academy Champion, Craig Breen is already thinking ahead and has entered the Norwegian event, Rally Finnskog (Feb 4th), targeting the rally as part of his pre-event prep work for World Rally Sweden Feb 9th -12th, round two of SWRC.

On announcing the inclusion of the snow event to his Schedule the Irish driver stated, "We had a routine test planned before Sweden but as this rally comes up just a week prior and fits in perfectly. Sweden being the only snow rally of the season is very specialised, I had a great result there last year and enjoyed every minute. By entering Rally Finnskog we still get time to prefect our car setup for Sweden but it also gives us the opportunity to drive in competition and for sure there's no better preparation for a championship event. My full focus at the minute is on the 'Monte' but I'm looking forward to both snow events.”

Rally Website

Posted: February 4, 2012 8:30 AM

Topics: FINLAND 

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