2008 Rally New Zealand

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2008 Rally New Zealand
38th Repco Rally New Zealand
Round 11 of the 2008 World Rally Championship
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Host country  New Zealand
Rally base Hamilton
Dates run 28 August – 31 2008
Stages 18 (353.04 km; 219.37 mi)[1]
Stage surface Gravel
Overall distance 1,218.20 km (756.95 mi)[1]
Results
Overall winner France Sébastien Loeb
Citroën Total World Rally Team
Crews 64 at start, 35[1] at finish

The 2008 Rally New Zealand was the eleventh round of the 2008 World Rally Championship season. The event was based on the northern island of the country near the city of Hamilton. The stages were run on gravel roads characterised by their pronounced camber, which gives them a fast flowing nature. They are also known for their picturesque qualities.[2] The rally ran between 28 August and 31 August. Sébastien Loeb won his forty-fourth WRC rally, and his eighth of the season, in a dramatic event, where Mikko Hirvonen came third after being passed in the latter stages of the rally. Daniel Sordo, like Loeb, also driving for Citroën, claimed 2nd place. After the event Loeb had an eight-point lead over Hirvonen in the drivers championship with four events remaining.

Event[edit]

Heavy rain in the buildup before the event forced a change to the itinerary, with the 43 km Waitomo stage having to be split into two due to a landslip.[3] Despite the poor weather before the event Matthew Wilson still believed the first car would be at a disadvantage,[4] thus making team tactics - as seen at Turkey - more likely.[5] After Gigi Galli's accident in Germany, François Duval was called up by Stobart Ford to replace him as an approach to two time world champion Marcus Grönholm failed to lure him out of retirement.[6]

Day one[edit]

Despite sweeping the roads for the other competitors, and a big moment when he nearly rolled his car during the very first stage,[7] Loeb was just 0.7 seconds behind Hirvonen going into the penultimate stage of the day. With road positions for day two being decided at the end of this stage, rather than at the short Super special stage at Mystery Creek, Hirvonen was expected to intentionally drop behind Loeb to ensure a better starting position. Loeb then suffered a starter motor problem[8] which meant he couldn't start at his allotted time. With Hirvonen now effectively running first on the road, he was unable to play the tactical game and therefore ended day one in front, and as road sweeper for day two. When questioned after the stage, Loeb denied any suggestion of tactics - citing the thirty second time penalty he picked up for starting the stage late - "Do you really think I'd give away that much time?"[9] Hirvonen agreed that Loeb seemed to have a genuine problem.[8] Jari-Matti Latvala also tried to improve his starting position but although falling behind Loeb, he managed to stay ahead of Dani Sordo by 0.1 second - despite backing off before the end of the stage. Behind the two factory Ford and Citroën drivers was Duval, who was just under ninety seconds off the lead. Urmo Aava was in sixth, Petter Solberg in seventh with Suzuki driver PG Andersson enjoying a trouble free run in eighth place. Drivers who weren't so lucky included Henning Solberg - who lost seven and a half minutes with power steering problems, Matthew Wilson - who suffered gearbox problems and had to retire for the day after SS4, the same stage as Subaru driver Chris Atkinson - who rolled his car halfway through the stage[10]

Day two[edit]

Loeb used his starting position to close on Hirvonen throughout the day. After taking seven seconds out of his lead on the first stage of the day,[11] Loeb took over the lead on stage twelve. With only one stage left to run on the day Loeb was 4.2 seconds clear - below his target time of a twenty-second lead.[12] With this in mind he slowed down at the end of Te Akau North to let Hirvonen back into the lead. Latvala was able to help Hirvonen by finishing ahead of him on time and to start the final day in front.[13] With Sordo keeping close to the pace of the other leaders, there was only a sixteen-second gap between the first four drivers. Behind the leading pack, the points positions remained the same as on day one. The most noteworthy performance came from Henning Solberg, who used his advantageous road position to claim four stage wins on his climb back up the leaderboard.

Results[edit]

Pos. Driver Co-driver Car Time Difference Points
WRC
1. France Sébastien Loeb Monaco Daniel Elena Citroën C4 WRC 3:59:18.9 0.0 10
2. Spain Dani Sordo Spain Marc Marti Citroën C4 WRC 3:59;36.4 17.5 8
3. Finland Mikko Hirvonen Finland Jarmo Lehtinen Ford Focus RS WRC 08 4:00:00.4 41.5 6
4. Norway Petter Solberg United Kingdom Phil Mills Subaru Impreza WRC 2008 4:02:07.8 2:48.9 5
5. Estonia Urmo Aava Estonia Kuldar Sikk Citroën C4 WRC 4:02:49.6 3:30.7 4
6. Sweden PG Andersson Sweden Jonas Andersson Suzuki SX4 WRC 4:06:56.3 7:37.4 3
7. Finland Toni Gardemeister Finland Tomi Tuominen Suzuki SX4 WRC 4:07:13.8 7:54.9 2
8. Argentina Federico Villagra Argentina Jorge Perez Companc Ford Focus RS WRC 07 4:07:53.9 8:35.0 1
PCWRC
1. (10.) Czech Republic Martin Prokop Czech Republic Jan Tomanek Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 4:13:07.9 0.0 10
2. (11.) Sweden Patrik Sandell Sweden Emil Axelsson Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 4:13:44.1 36.2 8
3. (12.) Estonia Martin Rauam Estonia Silver Kütt Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 4:14:05.7 57.8 6

Championship standings after the event[edit]

Drivers' championship[edit]

Pos Driver MON
Monaco
SWE
Sweden
MEX
Mexico
ARG
Argentina
JOR
Jordan
ITA
Italy
GRC
Greece
TUR
Turkey
FIN
Finland
GER
Germany
NZL
New Zealand
ESP
Spain
FRA
France
JPN
Japan
GBR
United Kingdom
 Pts 
1 France Sébastien Loeb 1 Ret. 1 1 10 1 1 3 1 1 1 86
2 Finland Mikko Hirvonen 2 2 4 5 1 2 3 1 2 4 3 78
3 Spain Dani Sordo 11 6 17 3 2 5 5 4 4 2 2 51
4 Australia Chris Atkinson 3 21 2 2 3 6 Ret. 13 3 6 Ret. 40
5 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala 12 1 3 15 7 3 7 2 39 9 Ret. 34
6 Norway Petter Solberg 5 4 12 Ret. Ret. 10 2 6 6 5 4 32
7 Norway Henning Solberg 9 13 5 Ret. 4 7 8 5 5 5 9 22
8 Italy Gigi Galli 6 3 Ret. 7 8 4 Ret. Ret. Ret. Ret. 17
9 United Kingdom Matthew Wilson 10 Ret. 6 Ret. 5 12 6 7 9 12 17 12
10 Belgium François Duval 4 3 Ret. 11
Estonia Urmo Aava 18 Ret. 8 4 Ret. 16 8 5
12 Argentina Federico Villagra 7 6 6 14 13 9 Ret. 8 9
13 Zimbabwe Conrad Rautenbach Ret. 16 16 4 26 13 10 8 10 10 Ret. 6
14 Finland Toni Gardemeister Ret. 7 Ret. Ret. Ret. Ret. 9 Ret. 8 10 7 5
15 Norway Andreas Mikkelsen 5 Ret. 26 12 11 4
16 Sweden Per-Gunnar Andersson 8 Ret. Ret. 24 Ret. 9 11 Ret. Ret. 15 6
17 France Jean-Marie Cuoq 7 2
Finland Matti Rantanen 7
18 Finland Juho Hänninen 8 21 13 14 1
France Sébastien Ogier 8 11 22 36 19
Austria Andreas Aigner 31 8 14 11 Ret. Ret.
Pos Driver MON
Monaco
SWE
Sweden
MEX
Mexico
ARG
Argentina
JOR
Jordan
ITA
Italy
GRC
Greece
TUR
Turkey
FIN
Finland
GER
Germany
NZL
New Zealand
ESP
Spain
FRA
France
JPN
Japan
GBR
United Kingdom
Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (DNF)
Black Excluded (EX)
Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Cancelled (C)
Blank Withdrew entry before the event (WD)

Manufacturers' championship[edit]

Rank Team Event Total
points
MON
Monaco
SWE
Sweden
MEX
Mexico
ARG
Argentina
JOR
Jordan
ITA
Italy
GRC
Greece
TUR
Turkey
FIN
Finland
GER
Germany
NZL
New Zealand
ESP
Spain
FRA
France
JPN
Japan
GBR
United Kingdom
1 France Citroën Total World Rally Team 11 4 10 16 9 14 15 11 15 18 18 - - - - 141
2 United Kingdom BP Ford World Rally Team 8 18 11 7 13 14 10 18 9 7 6 - - - - 121
3 Japan Subaru World Rally Team 10 6 9 8 6 3 8 3 9 7 5 - - - - 74
4 United Kingdom Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team 8 8 3 3 7 5 3 4 4 6 0 - - - - 51
5 Argentina Munchi's Ford World Rally Team 0 0 6 4 4 2 0 3 0 0 3 - - - - 22
6 Japan Suzuki World Rally Team 2 3 0 1 0 1 3 0 2 1 7 - - - - 20

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "juwra.com  |  Rallies - New Zealand 2008". juwra.com. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  2. ^ "World Rally Championship - Rallies - Rally New Zealand". wrc.com. 2008-08-31. Archived from the original on 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  3. ^ "Weather causes route changes". wrc.com. 2008-08-25. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  4. ^ "Wilson: Leader faces disadvantage". autosport.com. 2008-08-27. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Dry roads in New Zealand make tactical driving likely". wrc.com. 2008-08-28. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Duval replaces Galli for New Zealand". autosport.com. 2008-08-21. Archived from the original on 24 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  7. ^ "SS1 - Early scare for Loeb and others...". wrc.com. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  8. ^ a b "SS6 - High drama and tactics on decisive stage". wrc.com. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  9. ^ Evans, David (4 September 2008). "Ford Spins, Citroen Wins". Autosport. 193: 42–47. 
  10. ^ "SS4 - Atkinson rolls out of fifth place". wrc.com. 2008-08-29. Archived from the original on 4 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  11. ^ "SS8: Loeb takes a big chunk from Hirvonen's lead". wrc.com. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  12. ^ "SS10: Loeb aiming for a 20-second lead". wrc.com. 2008-08-30. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  13. ^ "Latvala handed New Zealand lead". autosport.com. 2008-08-30. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 

External links[edit]