WRC Turkey April16-18 talk/results spoiler**
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    Cool WRC Turkey April16-18 talk/results spoiler**



    With the dust still settling following an epic, if controversial Jordan Rally at the start of April, the World Rally Championship regulars are already preparing to resume their chase for the sport’s biggest prize on Rally of Turkey, which takes place from 15-18 April.

    Based in the Pendik district of Istanbul, the rally features high-speed gravel stages in Turkey’s Asian countryside, plus an asphalt superspecial stage close to the banks of the Bosphorus River in Kadikoy.

    While Turkey has been a mainstay of the WRC since 2003, this year’s event features a brand-new route and location and represents unchartered territory for the leading drivers and teams. Previously based on mountainous and punishing roads above the Mediterranean resort of Kemer, the event has relocated 700 kilometres north to Istanbul following a one-year absence from the WRC under the calendar rotation system.

    Turkey’s largest city and cultural and commercial epicentre will host the ceremonial start in Sultanahmet Square close to the spectacular Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia on Thursday evening, which crews will reach by taking a ferry crossing over the Bosphorous. Service is located in Pendik, a short distance from Istanbul Park, venue of the Turkish Grand Prix.

    Although the 23 stages included on the event’s itinerary are new to the WRC, the stages have been used on rounds of the European Rally Championship and Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the past. They are characterised by their wide, fast and smooth nature, with sections of Tarmac thrown in for good measure.

    Click: WRC.com Rally Turkey

    Official Website: rallyofturkey.org/


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    Citroen duo quickest in Turkey Shakedown

    Defending World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb was the fastest driver at the pre-event shakedown for Rally of Turkey earlier today, with his Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo his closest rival.

    The four-hour test took place on a 4.75km stage in Kandilli, 28km east of the main Service Park in Pendik. Weather conditions were dry and sunny throughout with a temperature peaking at 17 degrees Celsius.

    Loeb was the first driver to tackle the stage - giving himself a taste of what the conditions will be like on Friday when, as championship leader, he is stage opener. The Frenchman drove the stage four times, setting his best time - 2min 30.8sec - on his final pass.

    Underlining the road cleaning effect, Sordo's second-fastest time (2min 31.1sec) also came on his fourth and final run. BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team driver Mikko Hirvonen rounded off the top three times, punching in a 2min 31.7sec run on his fourth attempt.

    Kimi Raikkonen's rally got off to an encouraging start. The winner of the 2005 Formula One race in Turkey was joint seventh-fastest on gravel today, setting the same time as factory Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala.

    After a ceremonial start in the Istanbul this evening, the opening stage of the rally, the 15.66km Darlik, gets underway at 0903hrs on Friday.

    Shakedown times :

    1. LOEB. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:30.8
    2. SORDO. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:31.1
    3. HIRVONEN. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 2:31.7
    4. H.SOLBERG. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:32.2
    =5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:32.5
    =5. OGIER. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:32.5
    =7. RAIKKONEN. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:33.1
    =7. LATVALA. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 2:33.1
    9. VILLAGRA. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:33.7
    10. WILSON. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:35.2
    11. BLOCK. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:38.5

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=Turkey+Shakedown

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    Block feeling confident despite cold Turkey

    Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block says that he’s feeling confident heading into the Rally of Turkey - despite the fact that the last time he sat in a World Rally Car was on the final stage of Rally Mexico last month.

    Since then, the American has been busy with various commitments in the United States, meaning that he has not had time to test his Ford Focus RS WRC.

    Nonetheless, Block says that his performance in Mexico - where he proved capable of setting top-10 times - gives him far more confidence on the second round of his seven-event programme in Turkey.

    “The way we went in Mexico answered a few questions; the same questions I was asking of myself,” said the 42-year-old. “I think we showed that we could run with some of the more experienced guys and that puts my mind at rest more as we come here. Of course I’ve still got so much to learn, but I know that if things go well we should be able to have a decent pace.”

    Block also said that he learned a valuable lesson in Mexico after retiring from the second day when he damaged a wheel.

    “I’m quite annoyed by that, so the priority is obviously to finish the event,” said Block. “From what I can see of the rally I like it, but I’m surprised at just how cold it is: I was expecting it to be a lot warmer! Coming here with no testing is obviously a bit of a handicap, but it was good to get a bit of mileage in the shakedown and luckily I can benefit from the advice of everybody else in the Ford team.”

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=KenBlock

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    Day 1

    SS1: Petter Solberg takes an early lead






    Citroen privateer Petter Solberg moved into an early lead of the Rally of Turkey after setting the fastest time through the event's opening stage.

    After the 15.66km Darlik section, Solberg heads Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala by a slender margin of 0.1sec. Citroen C4 driver Sebastien Loeb is third, 0.5sec behind Solberg.

    Darlik exterminated the challenges of two of the leading WRC crews: Stobart Ford driver Henning Solberg stopped at the 13.75km point with a broken steering arm on his Focus RS World Rally Car, while Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block, in a similar car, stopped 300 metres earlier with the same problem.

    Click: wrc.com/Turkey_SS1/News

    ------------------------------------------
    SS2





    A fastest time from Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen on Friday's second stage moved him into the lead of the Rally of Turkey.

    The Finn completed the short Karabeyli stage 2.9sec quicker than his closest rival, Citroen Junior team driver Sebastien Ogier.

    Hirvonen has a 2.5sec overall rally lead from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, while Citroen's Dani Sordo is third.

    Early leader Petter Solberg completed SS2 10 seconds adrift of Hirvonen's time and dropped to sixth overall. After 24 stage kilometres just 8.9seconds separates the top six.

    Click: wrc.com/Turkey_SS2/News


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    SS3



    Ogier edges ahead



    Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier became the third leader of the Rally of Turkey in as many stages after setting the fastest time through the 13km Bozgoca section.

    The stage win sprung Ogier from fourth overall into a rally lead of 0.7sec over Mikko Hirvonen. Dani Sordo remains third overall.

    With just one stage before the midday halt, the leaders remain tightly bunched, with less than eight seconds separating the top six.

    Click: wrc.com/Turkey_SS3/News

    --------------------------------------

    SS4



    SS4: Ogier stays out front at Friday's midpoint

    Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier holds the lead in the Rally of Turkey after the opening morning of the competition.

    The Frenchman was second quickest to Petter Solberg through the rough and rocky Halli stage (SS4) to complete Friday morning's loop of stages with an overall lead of 2.1sec.

    Fellow C4 World Rally Car driver Dani Sordo is second, 2.1sec behind Ogier, while Ford Focus RS WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen is third, nine-tenths adrift of Sordo.

    After a 30-minute service in Pendik, crews will repeat the same four stages this afternoon.

    Click: wrc.com/Turkey_SS4/News


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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 04-16-2010 at 02:07 AM.
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    Teams welcome stewards' bulletin

    World Rally Championship manufacturer teams Ford and Citroen have welcomed a reminder that the use of tactics on this week’s Rally of Turkey will be investigated by the event stewards.

    Six-time world champion Sebastien Loeb had led calls for a change to the regulations in time for the fourth round of the series, following the use of tactics on the previous round, the Jordan Rally.

    The stewards of the Rally of Turkey issued a bulletin yesterday reminding all competitors of Article 151 (c) of the International Sporting Code which relates to sporting behaviour and the potential for bringing the sport into disrepute.

    The bulletin stated: “Please be advised that the stewards, at their sole discretion, will investigate any activity during the competition that they consider falls into this category. The stewards have supreme and sole authority to decide what penalty to enforce.”

    While not a regulation change, the bulletin clarifies that the stewards will act on anything they feel brings the sport into disrepute, including checking into a control early or late - and even slowing down in the stages to ensure a better position on the road for the following day’s sport.

    Citroen’s team principal Olivier Quesnel said he had already reached an agreement with Ford: “We will not check in in advance at the start of the day. We have an agreement with Ford about this. I don’t like the tactics, so I hope this will stop them.”

    Ford of Europe senior manager, motorsport, Gerard Quinn said: “The FIA has reminded people that there are regulations there to prevent the sport being brought into disrepute. It’s important to Ford that those regulations are there and that we don’t have any part of that.”

    Click: wrc.com/Teams_Welcome_Stewards_Bulletin


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    Rally of Turkey midday wrap: Friday

    The Citroen Junior Team’s Sebastien Ogier leads after a dramatic opening four stages of the Rally of Turkey, held in hot and dry weather close to Istanbul.

    The first stage claimed two high-profile victims: the Monster World Rally Team Ford Focus RS WRC of Ken Block, who hit a tree stump, and the Stobart Focus of Henning Solberg - who retired with a broken steering arm.

    World Championship leader Sebastien Loeb was first on the road and lost a small amount of time sweeping the stages clean, but benefited from not having to dodge rocks that had been pulled onto the racing line by cars ahead. The Citroen driver returned to service in fifth place, less than eight seconds behind the leader.

    Citroen privateer Petter Solberg won the first stage, but his plan just to drive according to the split times from the cars in front was scuppered when he stopped receiving them due to a timing glitch.

    Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen, who slid wide on a slippery corner of the opening stage, claimed fastest time and the provisional rally lead on SS2, just ahead of his team mate Jari-Matti Latvala - who subsequently dropped a few seconds after damaging his left-rear wheel against a rock, ending up sixth behind Loeb.

    break..........cont.......

    Aaron Burkart leads the Junior World Rally Championship division in his Suzuki Swift S1600 after Kevin Abbring dropped back when his Renault Clio R3 suffered rear brake failure towards the end of SS3. The Dutchman’s challenge suffered a further knock when his Clio’s tailgate opened on SS4 and filled the car with dust. He is currently third in class behind impressive newcomer Thierry Neuville in a Citroen C2 S1600.

    Of the five Pirelli Star Drivers competing in Turkey, only Estonia’s Ott Tanak is still going. Tanak said he had been driving at “70 per cent” to avoid repeating the mistakes that claimed three of his team mates - and he is currently 10th overall following a strong showing.

    Of his fellow Star Drivers, Peter Horsey crashed on SS2 and was forced to retire when his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X caught fire. Alex Raschi also went off on the same stage. Hayden Paddon failed to complete the opening run when he misjudged a chicane while Nick Georgiou was unable to start the stage after his car suffered power steering failure.

    Read News Click: wrc.com/Turkey_Midday_Wrap

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    Thanks for the info!
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    SS5



    .
    SS5: Ogier edges ahead

    Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier extended his lead in Rally of Turkey by going fastest on the first of Friday's repeated stages.

    Ogier completed the second pass through the Darlik section in a time of 9min 11.1sec, almost 20 seconds faster than Petter Solberg's winning time when the stage was run earlier as SS1.

    Citroen Total team driver Dani Sordo holds second place, exactly three seconds behind Ogier, with Mikko Hirvonen third, 2.8sec behind the Spaniard.

    .

    --------------------------------------------

    SS6





    --------------------------------------------

    SS7



    .


    After SS7: Top three hold steady

    The Rally of Turkey top three of Sebastien Ogier, Dani Sordo and Mikko Hirvonen remained intact through SS5 and SS6, while the group of three drivers chasing them continued to shuffle positions.

    Fifth after SS5, Citroen privateer Petter Solberg emerged from SS7 the closest to the leading trio, 9.2sec adrift of Sordo. Jari-Matti Latvala holds fifth, 2.9sec further back, with defending champion Sebastien Loeb down from fourth to sixth, but only 1.7sec behind the Finn.

    .

    --------------------------------------------

    SS8



    .


    SS8: Ogier leads with just the Superspecial to go today

    With just the Istanbul Superspecial to go tonight, Sebastien Ogier holds the lead of the Rally of Turkey by a margin of 2.8 seconds.

    There was no change to the top four positions through the repeated Halli section which, as the last 'proper' stage of the day, determined Saturday's road order.

    Ogier, therefore, will be first through Saturday's eight stages, with Dani Sordo second and Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen third.

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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 04-16-2010 at 06:53 AM.
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    End of Day 1

    SS9




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    +12.2. Hmmm... Not too bad I guess.
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    nope and loeb is behind
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    Day 2

    SS10




    SS10: Jari-Matti Latvala crashes



    Finn Jari-Matti Latvala crashed his Ford Focus RS WRC on Saturday's opening stage, the 18km Gocbeyli.

    The BP Ford Abu Dhabi team driver began the day in sixth place but rolled his car after nudging a bank 1km from the start line on the asphalt part of the mixed surface stage.

    Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila were unhurt and managed to get going again, but lost nine minutes to the leaders.

    Petter Solberg was the stage winner, with rally leader Sebastien Ogier six-tenths slower and Mikko Hirvonen rounding off the top three times.

    Further down the order, J-WRC front-runner Thierry Neuville stopped at the 12km point.

    -----------------------------------

    SS11


    SS11: Hirvonen on the attack



    Ford team-leader Mikko Hirvonen set the fastest time through Saturday's second stage and moved ahead of Dani Sordo into second place overall.

    The Finn narrowed the gap to rally leader Sebastien Ogier from 13.3sec to 6.2sec during the 12km stage.

    Petter Solberg was Hirvonen's closest rival in SS11. The Norwegian holds fourth place but is now just 1.3sec behind Sordo.

    .
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 04-17-2010 at 01:57 AM.
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    SS12



    SS12: Ogier responds

    Sebastien Ogier extended his lead of the Rally of Turkey to 12.4sec on SS12, while the surface of the stage drew criticism from several drivers.

    Ogier was the fastest driver through the stage with Loeb second, three tenths slower, and Dani Sordo third, six seconds further back.

    Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Loeb were especially critical of re-grading work they believed had significantly altered the character of the stage since the pre-event reconnaissance.

    ------------------------------------

    SS13



    SS13: Petter up to second



    Citroen privateer Petter Solberg moved up to second place in the Rally of Turkey after setting the fastest time through Riva - the last of Saturday morning's loop of speed tests.

    Solberg was 1.7sec quicker than anybody else through the longest stage of the rally to leap ahead of Dani Sordo and Mikko Hirvonen.

    Defending World Champion Sebastien Loeb was second fastest and moved up a place from fifth to fourth.

    After the stage crews set off on the road section to Pendik and the 30-minute midday service.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Rally of Turkey midday wrap: Saturday



    Ten stages after he took the lead of the Rally of Turkey, Frenchman Sebastien Ogier remains out front at the end of a tough second morning on the Istanbul-based event.

    Citroen Junior Team driver Ogier was fastest on one of the loop’s four tests, but he still managed to double his advantage (to 10 seconds) at the top of the table. Behind him, Petter Solberg’s Citroen C4 leap-frogged his way up the leaderboard having started the day fourth.

    Citroen sent its drivers out with their front Pirelli tyres scrubbed, hoping the slightly worn covers would offer more grip on the asphalt sections of the morning’s stages - in the same way they had on last year’s Cyprus Rally.

    The split times just after the end of the 13.49 kilometres of sealed surfaces indicated that the French team had made the right call - just. Ogier was flying, 4.2 seconds up on Hirvonen when he hit the dirt, while Dani Sordo (0.1s) and Sebastien Loeb (0.5s) were only just ahead of the fully treaded Ford.

    Hirvonen reaped the benefits of running four new Scorpions on the all-gravel second stage as he moved past Sordo and into second place, but he was forced to relinquish that spot when Solberg went fastest through the final stage before service.

    Ogier was pleased with his morning, saying: “I’m not sure if we made the right decision with the tyres, it’s hard to say. But on the whole, the morning has been good for us.”

    Read More Click: wrc.com/Saturday_Midday_Wrap


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