Finland has been Conquered by Loeb and the Pirelli Equipped Citroen WRC
Loeb-Elena obtained their sixth season's victory, winning one of the most famous rally venues and one rally location that had still been elusive in their roll of honour. Hirvonen's attempt (Ford Focus WRC) to pass him was futile, even if he's still leading the Championship. Atkinson in the Scorpion-equipped new Subaru Impreza WRC achieved a commendable third place.
Jyväskylä, 3 August 2008 - Winning Rally of Finland, ninth round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in a Pirelli Scorpion-equipped Citroën C4 WRC, obtained their sixth win in this season and their 42nd win in the World Championship and reduced the gap with the actual world rally leader Mikko Hirvonen, who arrived just behind them.
For the four times World Rally Champions this win in Finland is, as explained the co-driver Daniel Elena "a big satisfaction for several reasons: because this rally was still missing from our roll of honour, because it's a legendary race and because we got on the podium quite a few times in the past but we never won". Sébastien Loeb reassert what his co-driver said, adding that "we didn't have any technical problem at all and I'm really happy with the soft compound Pirelli Scorpion performance and grip on the hard surface roads of Rally Finland".
Behind theCitroën C4 WRC leader of the entire event, there is the Pirelli-shod factory Ford Focus WRC of Hirvonen-Lehtinen. The Finnish crew tried to attack in the last part of the race, but nevertheless finished 9 seconds from the winner. The podium is completed by the factory Subaru Impreza WRC-Pirelli of Chris Atkinson and Stéphane Prévot, that after a slow start, gained ground climbing up to third place - preceding the other factory Citroën C4 WRC of Sordo-Martì.
This race counted also for the Production WRC, exclusively equipped with Pirelli tyres too, and it has been won by the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Group N of Juho HÃ¤nninen, who took the lead yesterday when Juha Salo had too retire after getting off the road.
Mario Isola, Pirelli Rally Manager said that "the conditions here in Finland were the most suitable for the debut of our soft compound Scorpion tyres, that showed a good compression resistance during the several jumps of this rally and also an excellent strength. There was no one single puncture both among the FIA WRC drivers and the FIA P-WRC drivers. The good judgments from the drivers reconfirmed the excellent development job done by our technicians on this type of tyre. I'd like to add that Guy Wilks with an Honda Civic Type-R equipped with Pirelli commercial tyres, won among the two wheel drive cars (not included in the JWRC) where competition among tyre manufacturers is still open".