WRC

Finland Subaru Report

Kytolehto Runs out of Rally, Finishes Eighth Jyvaskyla, Finland, Sunday, August 23, 1998 --With 75 per cent of Rally Finland already run going into today's Leg 3, and too much time to make up, the 555 Subaru World Rally Team of...

Kytolehto Runs out of Rally, Finishes Eighth Jyvaskyla, Finland, Sunday, August 23, 1998 --With 75 per cent of Rally Finland already run going into today's Leg 3, and too much time to make up, the 555 Subaru World Rally Team of Jarmo Kytolehto and Arto Kapanen had to settle for eighth place, thus finishing out of the points. [LINK] Still, the stalwart Finns gave a good account of themselves, racing within seconds of the leaders on the day. The team had high hopes of points-scoring finishes with both crews in the 1998 Rally Finland, however the specialist nature of the event, combined with the highest calibre field in a World Championship rally this season, conspired against the current World Champions. Competing against a full complement of regular series campaigners, Kytolehto and Kapanen completed the 384 competitive kilometres event while the British pair of Colin McRae and Nicky Grist were forced to retire during Friday's Leg 1 with a damaged rear suspension. Conditions on todays final leg were drier, but early morning fog dictated a degree of caution for the crews. The leaderboard had been virtually established and few seemed keen to jeopardise positions they had fought so hard for. Kytolehtos pace increased today and the Finn was rarely more than a handful of seconds adrift of the fastest times, but hopes of repeating or improving on his three consecutive third places in this rally were not to be. "The conditions have been so difficult and slippery," said Jarmo. "It was hard to push to the limit because I was determined not to go off. For me the problems we had on the first day happened too early and I lost a bit of confidence so it was not a strong start. After two difficult days, this one was the best for us but obviously it was too late. We had the chance to test many things on the car, however, and I am sure that the team will have more information for the future. We found some excellent settings in specific conditions, so some good has come from it." Tommi Makinen made history by winning the 1998 Rally Finland, his fifth successive victory in his home rally. The current World Champion is right back in the fight for overall honours; a three-way battle between Carlos Sainz, McRae and Makinen is likely to go down to the wire and the last round of the Championship, the Rally of Great Britain, in November. The World Rally Championship now takes an enforced break due to the cancellation of Rally Indonesia in September. The teams will doubtless take the opportunity for more testing before moving on to Italy and the fourth tarmac round of the series, the Rallye Sanremo (October 12-14). The 555 Subaru World Rally Team will be back on more familiar territory and Colin McRae, who will be looking for a hat-trick of victories in Italy, will be joined again by regular 555 Subaru driver, Italian Piero Liatti. A dominant one-two for the team in 1997 bodes well, and 10 valuable points is all that McRae will settle for.

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