MOTORSPORT /// WRC /// 2014 RALLY FINLAND (31.7.2014 – 3.8.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// SS26…

  • Terve!
  • Or, hyvää huomenti, if you’re sitting in the pitch dark for this one.
  • And, what, exactly, -is- this one?
  • …As my connection craps out.
  • …Kiitos.
  • …Seriously.
  • Anyway, I can (still) type.
  • THIS…
  • …Is Rally Finland.
  • …Neste Oil Rally Finland, to be exact.
  • …And, THIS is the final stage.
  • …Ruuhimäki 2.
  • …The Power Stage.
  • …In which the top three stage finishers get 1-2-3 bonus points.
  • As we go into this final stage, your leaders are…
  • …Volkswagen’s Latvala/Anttila, Volkswagen’s Ogier/Ingrassia, Citroën’s Meeke/Nagle, and Volkswagen II’s Mikkelsen/Fløene.
  • …Yes, for the first time since 2010, a Finn will win their home event.
  • …Unless something hideous happens, of course.
  • …But, it shouldn’t.
  • …And, Jer Bear has a 3.7-ish-second lead over French Toast.
  • …Though, it was cut from just under 10-seconds as yesterday drew to a close.
  • …Thanks to a hole in the road that was eating  cars like the Finnish Man from Mars.
  • …It took out one of Jerry Matt’s brakes, causing him to lose time.
  • …But, he’s here, he’s on top, it’s all good.
  • …He won’t have to be locked in a sauna to think about what he’s done.
  • …(I do believe it was 6-time Finland winner Markku Alén who said a few years back, that any Finn who loses Finland should sit in a sauna and not come out until they’ve (really) thought about what they’ve done.)
  • …Or, do hard labor at Santa’s elf camp in Rovaniemi.
  • Okay, Ruuhimäki 2.
  • …It’s a repeat of SS24.
  • …7.10km (4.41mi).
  • …All very classic.
  • …Trees and jumps, fast and flowing.
  • …Like moguls of Tony Montana’s table of cocaine.
  • …The first loop was led by Latvala, Ogier, Meeke, and Hyundai’s Hänninen/Tuominen.
  • …Finn Watch: Hänninen/Tuominen are in (overall) sixth.
  • …Behind…
  • …Finn Watch: M-Sport’s Hirvonen/Lehtinen.
  • …Who won the event in 2009.
  • The WRC2 cars of Tänak/Mölder and (Finn Watch) Ketomaa/Lindström finish their runs.
  • …As Kruuda/Järveoja plows through.
  • RK M-Sport’s Kubica/Szczepaniak take the stage.
  • …Aaaannnddd, I have no connection.
  • …I don’t have numbers (now), but I can say that the Poles have been running steadily since their early exit and restart.
  • …As always, remember that numbers never lie, because they never tell the whole story.
  • …It’s been a solid drive at a brutal event for the former F1 driver, in his first season in a WRC car.
  • …Which, if you’re unaware, is modified to suit his little quirk.
  • …A few years ago, he cheated death, lost a massive amount of blood, and almost lost his right arm in a recreational rallying accident involving a metal barrier entering the cockpit and trapping him in the car for somewhere around an hour.
  • …So, his Fiesta has a slightly friendlier paddle shift.
  • …Which has got to have a massive learning curve of its own.
  • …Just some things to keep in mind between your Kubica crashing cracks.
  • Privateers Solberg/Major Minor take their Fiesta to the stage.
  • …This is Solberg’s return to the WRC, whereas longtime co-driver Ilka ran full-time with Evgeny Novikov last year.
  • …Including Finland.
  • …Some of which was seen through the hood of their Fiesta.
  • …The second Finland in a row for the Russian driver.
  • …Who isn’t wondering if he’d have done it a third time, had he not lost his M-Sport seat this season and opted to sit out and return properly?
  • …Minor (actually) started her partnership with the Russian after the jumps of Finland 2012 put co-driver Giraudet out of action with quite major back surgery.
  • …So, Ilka knows Finland very well.
  • …And, Solberg is not only a WRC veteran, but Nordic.
  • …So, all is well in that Fiesta.
  • M-Sport’s Evans/Barritt head out.
  • …This is Evans’ first full year in a WRC car.
  • …And, finishes Rally Finland in tact, with no drama.
  • …Slow and steady finishes Finland.
  • …Though, in Finland, “slow” could not be more of a relative term.
  • Hänninen/Tuominen on stage.
  • …It’s been a pretty steady rally for the pair.
  • …Okay, they rolled.
  • …But, it didn’t faze them.
  • …The fans got them back over and out.
  • …And, they just kicked the window out.
  • …Driving the following two stages without it.
  • …Tuominen, wearing goggles.
  • …They finish the stage.
  • …They should go lightly on the self-abuse after this.
  • …A very good result for the new i20.
  • …Enjoy the sauna and kick the elves.
  • Hyundai Motorsport N’s Kiwis Paddon/Kennard head out.
  • …Another strong finish for a WRC newcomer and an i20.
  • …This is exactly the exposure Paddon has needed.
  • …Hopefully, someone will give his foot a break and let him in the WRC door as 2015 rolls around.
  • Hirvonen/Lehtinen take the stage.
  • …Fun fact: The Fiesta isn’t miked-up.
  • …You can (actually) hear Jarmo’s booming voice in all corners of the earth.
  • …As they pull through the finish, Jarmo shakes Mikko’s hand, but doesn’t look at him.
  • …As Mikko has serious helmet face.
  • …Very squishy.
  • …He goes from child to cranky old man in a second.
  • …Amazing.
  • Mikkelsen/Fløene on stage.
  • …Mikkelsen doesn’t have that helmet issue.
  • …He’s Blue and White Steel.
  • …While everyone else looks crazy and sweaty when they remove their helmets and balaclava, Mikkelsen just looks alarmingly attractive.
  • …As the sun (always) provides just the right lighting for him.
  • …It’s (completely) ridiculous.
  • …But, he’s a tremendous driver and seems to have a wonderful sense of humor.
  • Meeke/Nagle head out.
  • …Everyone is (always) after their Lucky Charms.
  • …But, they seem to have eluded those killjoys this round.
  • …They’ve had ups and downs this season, with Meeke beating himself up after every down.
  • …But, the reality is that he’s just returned to the WRC (full time), he’s new to the DS3 (after two outings in it in 2013 – including Finland), and none of it is anywhere near out of the ordinary.
  • …In fact, he’s done quite awesomely.
  • …With the team in World Championship second.
  • …The other element of the formula being Østberg/Andersson.
  • …Who exited with surprise roll cage damage yesterday.
  • …A weirdly common exit this year.
  • …A smallish tap that feels and looks reparable – with roll cage damage.
  • …They’re through.
  • …No hideous late stage exit like last year.
  • …Woo to that!
  • …Really, Meeke is one of those guys who’s been dealt bad luck and bad deal too many times, a great driver with an equally great attitude who really, genuinely deserves these results.
  • …(You’ve got this, Kris; this is where you can be and should be, so keep it up!!!)
  • Gogiera/Ingrassia on stage.
  • …The duo are last year’s winners.
  • …Continuing the weird streak of French winners.
  • …After a history of Nordic (primarily Finnish) dominance.
  • …Which may just come to an end in a few minutes.
  • …By the way, yes, this is all that’s left of the WRC entrants.
  • …Breen/Martin were forced to retire with a back injury for Breen.
  • …A common issue at Finland.
  • …Fastest time for Gogiera.
  • …But…
  • Here we go!
  • …Jerry Matt and Minni’s Dad take the final stage.
  • …It’s 4.4-ish miles to a second Finland win.
  • …4.4-ish miles to his third win of the season.
  • …4.4-ish miles to becoming a national hero.
  • …This is his home turf, this is what he knows, this is what he loves.
  • …As he flies through the trees.
  • …The miles, winding down.
  • …The Confidence, strong and steady.
  • …Miika’s control has been a bit underrated, as it’s been his pace and his calls, egging Herra Karhu on.
  • …Ooo-he takes a few major pallit liberties with the jumps.
  • …Opting for big over conservative.
  • …Which costs him time.
  • …Ogier takes the stage win.
  • …And, Jer-Bear takes the win!!!
  • …Mestari!!!
  • It wouldn’t be a Jer-Bear win without an awkward jump atop a car.
  • …He needs more practice.
  • …He should (definitely) get more.
  • …That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • …Nor would it be an end, without Jerry Matt bumping into a camera.
  • …His English?  Gone.  He’s overexcited and in pure Finn mode.
  • …Love it.
  • …Finland is going as wild as Finland can Finland can go!
  • …There’s going to be a lot of unruliness out there today.
  • …No sauna punishment for the big guy and his longtime partner in crime.
  • …Unless, well, there -was- that Power Stage loss and the win could (always) be by a bigger margin.
  • Time to get awkward with the champagne!
  • …God, I love that guy.
  • …That’s what it takes to get that many affectionate nicknames, folks.
  • …Weirdness.
  • …I (seriously) love this guy.
  • …Why hasn’t he earned the “Quite Possibly Dateable” title?
  • …Something about the love is very playground, very…brotherly.
  • …And, really, (unbeknownst to him, but written all over this site) I’ve been pushing and pushing for him to calm down, focus on his own driving, and remember why he got into it in the first place for years, so saying that it’s good to see him driving like this would be a gross understatement.
  • …I feel weird saying that I’m proud of him, as I don’t know him, but…
  • …I’m so proud of him.
  • Well, that’s it for Finland.
  • …Your top four remain your top four, with everyone holding on to the end.
  • …Latvala/Anttila, Ogier/Ingrassia, Meeke/Nagle, and Mikkelsen/Fløene.
  • I (still) have no connection and no coffee.
  • …So, I can’t confirm results and I’m pretty mad about it.
  • …The only solution to which is going back to sleep.
  • …The kahvi is Paulig Mokka this weekend, by the way.
  • …I take Sweden and Finland very seriously, people.
  • …If no one’s noticed.
  • …You may not have.
  • …You may be new to this.
  • …That’s more than okay.
  • …I’m not out to become some sort of internet star, in anyone’s mind, but, especially, not in my own.
  • …Anyway…
  • …So, no coffee and no connection, but my main man, Jer-Bear, Jerry Matt, Herra Sata Lasissa, The Man from the Land of Luck, etc, has just won Finland, so it’s not all hideous.
  • Okay, well, that’s that.
  • This site is (officially) on sumer break.
  • …Coinciding with the F1 break.
  • …Why?
  • …Because, F1 speeds up during the WRC break and there’s a several-week gap between Rallies Finland and Germany.
  • …Both leagues return the same weekend.
  • …(The weekend of 24 August.)
  • I will finish the Finland result updates when my connection returns.
  • …If it returns.
  • …I would suggest it go sit in the sauna and reflect on what its done.
  • Until that busy race weekend…
  • …Oh, before I forget, US viewers: MAVTV is airing the hour-long 2014 Argentina recap tonight (at 10ET).
  • …Seriously, it was listed long before this win.
  • …Jerry Matt’s Finland win to start the day, his Argentina win to end it.
  • …How’s that for cool?
  • Moikka, kiitos, ja kippis!
Advertisements