Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Poland 2009


BACK IN THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER AN ABSENCE OF MANY YEARS, THIS PROVED TO BE A TOUGH ONE. SECOND ONLY TO THE MONTE CARLO RALLY IN TERMS OF CONTINUITY (THIS WAS THE 66TH RUNNING OF THE EVENT), IT IS POSSIBLY NOW THE FASTEST ON THE CALENDAR. EVEN FASTER THAN THE FINNISH RALLY THAT THE TEAMS GO TO NEXT TIME.

NOT THAT SEBASTIEN LOEB HAD MUCH CHANCE TO ENJOY IT! FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE RALLY, HE CRASHED OUT EARLY ON. THIS TIME HE HIT A TREE STUMP CUNNINGLY HIDDEN ON THE INSIDE OF A CORNER AND SO COVERED WITH SAND THAT IT WAS INVISIBLE. NONE OF THE CITROEN DRIVERS, INCLUDING THE CITROEN JUNIORS, HAD IT IN THEIR NOTES ALTHOUGH THE FORD DRIVERS HAD NOTICED IT.

FOR MOST OF THE RALLY, THE TWO FORD DRIVERS DOMINATED - MIKKO HIRVONEN 1ST AND JARI-MATTI LATVALA 2ND - WITH DANI SORDO 3RD. THE TWO SOLBERG BROTHERS WERE NECK AND NECK AND FIGHTING WITH SEBASTIEN OGIER. SEBASTIEN HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF AN ENGINE FAILURE ON DAY 4 WHEN IN 4TH PLACE. LOEB RE-ENTERED UNDER THE SUPER RALLY RULES ALTHOUGH A LONG WAY DOWN THE ORDER BUT WANTED TO EARN MANUFACTURERS' POINTS.

SO IT WAS PLAIN SAILING FOR A FORD 1-2. THE LAST STAGE WAS A SUPER-SPECIAL AROUND A SHORT, STADIUM TRACK. MALCOLM WILSON HAD THE CHAMPAGNE READY BUT HE RECKONED WITHOUT THE LOOSE CANON OF JARI-MATTI. HE CLIPPED A MARKER BARREL FULL OF CONCRETE, BROKE HIS SUSPENSION AND FAILED TO FINISH! JARI-MATTI FULLY EXPECTED TO BE SACKED AND I COULD ONLY AGREE WITH HIM AFTER ALL THE POINTS HE HAS COST THE TEAM. HOWEVER, I UNDERSTAND HE WILL BE DRIVING FOR FORD IN FINLAND. I WISH MY BOSSES WERE AS FORGIVING!

THE NET RESULT WAS THAT LOEB GAINED A FURTHER POINT BY MOVING UP FROM 8TH TO 7TH BUT IT WAS INSUFFICIENT TO PREVENT MIKKO TACKING THE SLENDEREST OF LEADS IN THE DRIVERS TITLE RACE. CURIOUSLY, CITROEN'S 15-POINT LEAD ACTUALLY INCREASED TO 17 POINTS FOLLOWING LATVALA'S MISTAKE INSTEAD OF REDUCING TO 6 POINTS IF FORD HAD OBTAINED THE 1-2 FINISH THEY DESERVED.





RESULT

1. Mikko Hirvonen / BP-Ford
2. Daniel Sordo / Citroen Total
3. Henning Solberg / Stobart VK Ford
4. Petter Solberg / Petter Solberg WRC
5. Matthew Wilson / Stobart VK Ford
6. Krzysztof Holowezyc / Stobart VK Ford
7. Sebastien Loeb / Citroen Total
8. Conrad Rautenbach / Citroen Jnr Team

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Mikko Hirvonen 58
Sebastien Loeb 57
Daniel Sordo 39
Henning Solberg 27
Jari-Matti Latvala 25
=Petter Solberg 25
Matthew Wilson 19
Federico Villagra 14

Constructors :

CitroŽn Total 106
BP-Ford 89
Stobart VK Ford 60
Citroen Junior Team 29
Munchi's Ford 18

Rally Results posted by
David Little
29th June 2009

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional  The HTML code for this page has been validated by the World Wide Web Consortium.