Finland : OMV Peugeot Norway - Preview
The OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team is once again competing in full strength at the Neste Rally Finland. Therefore Stohl/Minor and H. Solberg/Menkerud can also score in the manufacture WRC at the tenth run to the FIA World Rally
The OMV Team plans to cut a very fine figure there even though the Finland Rally ranks among the most challenging WRC runs. While it is the sixth participation for Stohl in Scandinavia, Solberg has even more Finland-experience by one run.
Pleasant anticipation for months
The enthusiasm with which Manfred Stohl talks about the Finland Rally is rather astonishing. The 34-year-old Austrian has been looking forward to this for months.
A feeling that was even boosted by a two-days-test in early July. It is all the more surprising when one takes into account that non-Scandinavians usually stand absolutely no chance in the Finnish woods.
But Stohl is true to his love: “It is simply incredible. Most of the time you are up in the air – that is, at least, what it feels like. A feeling that is further heightened by the high speed. And the spectators are incredibly enthusiastic, too. That is pure rallying."
Considering such a positive attitude, a top place should be possible. His self-confidence was boosted by fifth place at the OMV ADAC Rallye, in any case.
Still the home rally this year
The Finland Rally is still the home rally this year (in 2007 the Rally Norway will also be part of the WRC-calendar) for Henning Solberg, Stohl's team-mate in the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team.
Even though he has rarely seen the finish line in Finland, Henning Solberg still has a good feeling for the tenth WRC run this season.
“I am really looking forward to rallying again," said Solberg. "It has been a very long break. For me it was even longer since I didn't compete in the OMV ADAC Rallye. Now it is time to score driver points and manufacture WRC points as well, of course. I believe that we will cut a fine figure in Finland. It is a course made for the Peugeot 307 WRC."
351 special stage kilometres on 21 special stages
The Neste Rally Finland will commence on Thursday (August 17) with a super-special-stage in Killeri at 20.00 (local time). 20 further special stages with an overall length of 351,61 kilometres are scheduled from Friday to Sunday (August 18 - 20). The overall length measures exactly 1.524,34 kilometres. The finish line will be crossed on Sunday (August 20) at about 14.50 (local time) in Jyväskylä.
This is Finland
Area: 338.000 sq km; Population: 5.147.000 inhabitants; Population density: 17 people per sq km; Capital: Helsinki (551.000 inhabitants); Finland is independent since 1917. Finland has 187.888 lakes. It is a full member of the European Union since 1995.
Source OMV Peugeot Norway