MOTORSPORT /// WRC /// 2014 RALLY FINLAND (31.7.2014 – 3.8.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// SS13…

  • Terve!
  • Or, hej, for those who prefer to roll with Swedish.
  • Either way, it’s cool.
  • Because, this is Rally Finland.
  • …Of the Neste Oil variety.
  • …In 2014.
  • …Just to be cle-ah.
  • Okay, I do pre-race babble before F1 broadcasts, yet it never occurred to me to do it for WRC broadcasts.
  • …Because, well, I’m not that bright.
  • …And, have overcomplicated my WRC coverage beyond normal human comprehension.
  • …Where’s Jerry Matt?  He’ll understand that one.
  • Anyway…
  • This will be Special Stage 13.
  • …The ninth stage of the second day of Rally Finland.
  • …It is a repeat of yesterday’s SS4.
  • …Harju.
  • …So, this is Harju 2.
  • …It is a 2.20km (1.37mi) loop around the city center of rally base Jyväskylä.
  • …SS4’s top four were Ogier/Ingrassia (Volkswagen), Latvala/Anttila (Volkswagen), Meeke/Nagle (Citroën), and Østberg/Andersson (Citroën).
  • Currently, your top four (overall) leaders are…
  • …Latvala/Anttila, Meeke/Nagle, Ogier/Ingrassia, and Volkswagen Motorsport II’s Mikkelsen/Fløene.
  • Weatherwise…
  • …Sunny and mid-70s (Fahrenheit).
  • …Long gone is yesterday’s early rain.
  • …But, that shouldn’t be translated to a lack of Finnish carnage.
  • …Retired WRC teams include RK M-Sport’s Kubica/Szczepaniak, Hyundai’s Neuville/Gilsoul, and Fiona and her boys (Prokop/Tománek).
  • …The Belgian boys, Neuville/Gilsoul, damaged their roll cage and will not be eligible for restart (tomorrow).
  • …The others are expected to return.
  • …I do believe.
  • …Hyundai’s Finns Hänninen/Tuominen took a hard roll, fans tipped their i20 back up, and they went on to complete two stages without a windshield and with a collapsed dash.
  • …Pallit: “balls”.
  • Ogier/Ingrassia fling their Polo onto the stage.
  • …Ogier is not the happiest of campers at the moment.
  • …He has made it clear that his rally starts tomorrow.
  • …And, there is just no reason to doubt that.
  • …Really, he does stuff like that.
  • …And, remember, this is (only) Day 2, this is (only) SS13 of 26.
  • …Mestari: “champion”.
  • …Ooo-as he states that he “…can always get the win”.
  • …Boom.
  • Speaking of boom…
  • …Leaders Latvala/Anttila take the stage.
  • …Thinking globally, acting locally.
  • …The Confidence appears to be on board this weekend.
  • …Why there isn’t a third name on those windows is beyond me.
  • …”T Confidence”.
  • …German flag?
  • …As Jer-Bear’s expressionless face reaches the end.
  • …Karhu: “bear”.
  • …The dude is like a robot, processing the data Manttila’s yelling at him.
  • …Finnish: adorable looking, terrifying sounding.
  • VW’s third car takes the stage.
  • …Blue and White Steel Mikkelsen and Mr Ola.
  • …Mikkelsen (currently) leads in alarming attractiveness.
  • …He’s had a slow start, acting overcautiously.
  • …But, pacing himself has paid off and he’s inched his way to the top.
  • Mads and Jonas toss their DS3 into the mix.
  • …Citroën has had a tremendously underrated season.
  • …Each squad has had ups and downs, but it’s all evened out for everyone and the team.
  • …Excellent for a new team.
  • …It’s just gone a tad unnoticed, amidst the VW dominance and Hyundai hype.
  • The Fiesta of M-Sport’s Hirvonen/Lehtinen growls off the start.
  • …Grrr!!!
  • …The duo is in sixth (overall).
  • …Of all the locals, Hirvonen is the most local, having grown up in Jyväskylä.
  • …His family is (still) based there, so stalkers, go forth.
  • …Say “Terve” to the poliisi.
  • …That Fiesta is brand, spankin’ new, by the way.
  • …Recall that his car was lost to fire at Italy.
  • …They slapped together a new one for Poland, but did a total overhaul over Summer Break.
  • Meeke/Nagle invite the stage to listen to their Irish accents.
  • …Everyone is (always) after their Lucky Charms.
  • …But, a stage win (today) has secured their rally loot another day.
  • …That was an aggressive run, to say the very least.
  • …But, through and another day over.
  • M-Sport’s Evans/Barritt head out.
  • …The Brits are in (overall) eighth.
  • …Taking it a bit easy in Evans’ first full season behind the wheel of a WRC-class car.
  • …Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
  • …The Welshman is all but guaranteed to be a serious threat next season.
  • …And, they finish the stage, moving onto Day 3.
  • Solberg/Minor direct their privateer Fiesta to the stage.
  • …The pair has seen some action, some setbacks, but they’re here.
  • …In 12th.
  • …But, things move fast in rally.
  • …Especially, in Finland.
  • …So, 12th is (still) very much in the mix.
  • …And, never, ever underestimate tenacity.
  • …Which these two have in excess.
  • The i20 of Finns Hänninen/Tuominen fly onto the stage.
  • …With a windshield.
  • …Fortunately, Tuominen put in a triathlon during the break, so he was (totally) prepared for kicking out that shattered windshield.
  • …Let’s see if he has anything to say.
  • …Then, abruptly stop saying.
  • …Like yesterday.
  • …Welcome to Finland.
  • …He does.
  • …And, in typical Nordic form, it’s “team”-based and a little down.
  • …It’ll all be okay, Juho.
  • Hyundai Motorsport N’s Paddon/Kennard head out.
  • …They stand in (overall) seventh.
  • …Like Evans, Paddon is in learning mode.
  • …And, like Evans, Paddon is (already) a threat to the top runners.
  • …He was right at the top through today’s opening stages.
  • The Privateer Fiesta of WRC part-timer/ERC beast Breen/Martin enters the stage.
  • …They are in (overall) 10th.
  • …Which is a little misleading, as they had a run-in with a moose (earlier).
  • …No impact, but animal encounters do have an effect on times.
  • …Especially moose.
  • …If you’ve never encountered a moose, especially on a road, they’re absolutely massive and just solid.
  • …Quite fast, but, that’s if they want to move.
  • …They’re prone to aggression and charging, as well.
  • …I know a few people who have been charged while on bicycles and hikes.
  • …If you can get up a tree, that’s a good option, fyi.
  • …I’ve (actually) been stuck behind one on a backroad.
  • …So, yeah, I can imagine Breen’s surprise and concern.
  • Um…okay…if you’re wondering how brutal the stages of Finland are…
  • …We’re through the WRC cars.
  • …That was it.
  • The Drive DMACK Fiesta of Finns Ketomaa/Lindström lead the way for the WRC2 cars.
  • …Followed by the Peugeot 208 of Estonian child star Kruuda and Järveoja.
  • …The Drive DMACK Fiesta of Estonians Tänak/Mölder.
  • …The Fiesta of Al Rajhi/Orr.
  • …And, the pretty MINI of Ukrainians Gorban/Korsia.
  • …Which, in true, modern MINI fashion, has its hazard lights on and is wobbling around the corners.
  • …But, it’s adorable and its twin exhaust sounds very angry.
  • No slamming for my lack of exact model details.
  • …I (generally) don’t touch WRC2 cars.
  • …And, remember, this is done on the fly.
  • …These posts are (rarely) even spell-checked.
  • …It’s not an excuse, it’s a statement.
  • …Also, you should get outside more.
  • …Air is awesome.
  • So, how did this stage turn out?
  • …Well, shock, shock, shock, VW dominated the top four.
  • …Ogier/Ingrassia, Latvala/Anttila, Mikkelsen/Fløene, and Meeke/Nagle.
  • Overall…
  • …The top four remains the same as when the stage began.
  • …Latvala/Anttila, Meeke/Nagle, Ogier/Ingrassia, and Mikkelsen/Fløene.
  • Tomorrow will bring SS14-SS23 (of 26 total).
  • …A total of 131.60 competitive kilometers (81.77mi).
  • …With a total of 596.20km (370.46mi)  traveled.
  • …And, I have no idea if any of it will be on TV.
  • …I’ve not checked.
  • …Because…
  • …I’m just spontaneous like that?
  • By the way…
  • …I -was- wearing pants today.
  • Näkemiin ja onnea!
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