Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WRC 2010 Turkey

The Rally of Turkey was run on completely different roads since the WRC visited in 2008, and featured some nice fast, flowing sections and mixed surfaces on several stages. Day one and two had some of the closest rallying of the season so far, with the top six drivers within striking distance of a win. By the end of day two, it had settled into a three way fight, as Loeb led Petter Solberg and Hirvonen by 16 and 17 seconds respectively.

Everything seemed to go Loeb's way on day three. First, overnight rain cancelled the stages 18 and 19 and the reduction in distance also reduced the chances of Solberg or Hirvonen catching Loeb. Then, Hirvonen had a wild moment on stage 20 which caused a puncture and ended his hopes for a win. On stage 21 which was the second loop of cancelled stage 18, Petter Solberg slid wide in a tight left hander and lost enough time to finish his charge. Sometimes, Loeb is just plain lucky!

Petter Solberg is now second in the drivers' championship! For a privateer, that's very impressive and shows how consistent he has been this season. I suppose it's too much to hope that he could win the championship against Loeb in a factory Citreon, but I can dream. However, Loeb is taking Solberg seriously and acknowledged that he is looking very fast lately.

Raikkonen continues to improve with another points paying finish in sixth place, two positions higher than the previous rally. If this keeps up, he'll be challenging for podium positions soon. I think Raikkonen is really enjoying himself, but you'd never know it with his "iceman" demeanour, which a stark contrast to Petter Solberg, who never holds back how he is feeling.

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