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2009 Rally Norway : WRC Round 2 of 12 : 12th - 15th February

In this issue:
1. Event Preview
3. Other News
4. Team by Team Preview
5. Event statistics
6. Event Schedule
7. Championship Points


1. Event Preview
The second round of this year's World Rally Championship looks set to be an interesting one with the return of Petter Solberg, entered in a Citroen Xsara WRC run by his own team, set to be one of the biggest draws. Ford's young Finns are expected to excel on this event and will need to in order to stamp their mark on this years series after a dominant win by Sebastien Loeb on Rally Ireland last month.

3. Other News
" Red Bull Rally Team ready for new start
" Petter Solberg launches own team

4. Team by Team Preview

BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
http://ford.rallye-info.com/teams.asp?sid=2
Ford heads to Rally Norway (12 - 15 February) bidding to emulate its performance during the country's only previous world championship appearance two years ago when Focus RS World Rally Cars claimed a clean sweep of the podium.
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen and fellow Finns Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila are no strangers to success in snow. Hirvonen won in Norway's winter wonderland in 2007 and Latvala, who finished fifth then, became the youngest driver to win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Sweden last season.
#3 : Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen: "I scored solid points on the first round in Ireland earlier this month and now I really want to get down to business on a rally and in conditions that I enjoy. In 2007 the stages were enjoyable, but at the same time they were extremely difficult. I recall one stage that I drove in a blizzard and that was the first occasion in which I had encountered conditions like that. Ireland was a difficult start to the year because of heavy rain and I'm sure I'll feel more comfortable in Norway's snow - conditions in which we know the Focus excels,"
#4 : Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila: "The nature of the surface means a driver can be a lot more aggressive. The car spends more time sideways on snow because it helps to turn into bends. Taking straight lines and relying on traction, as I do on gravel, doesn't work in snow because there isn't as much. So I must trust the tyres, which offer good grip, and use the snow banks to carry more speed and guide me round."

Citroen Total World Rally Team
http://citroen.rallye-info.com/teams.asp?sid=1
In the wake of its one-two finish in Ireland, the CitroŽn Total World Rally Team heads for Norway. The specific features of the season's only winter fixture makes it a unique challenge for Sťbastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti. Like Rally Ireland, Rally Norway has only counted towards the World Rally Championship on one previous occasion. Meanwhile, hasty comparisons between this event, which is hosted by the small town of Hamar, and the Swedish Rally should be avoided. "The two rallies are very different," observes Sťbastien Loeb. "The Swedish stages tend to feature long, flowing corners, whereas the terrain in Norway presents us with another sort of technical challenge. The roads are twisty, narrow and bumpy in places and it's quite difficult to get a global feel for them."
#1 : Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena: "I hope it won't snow this year so that we will be free to
drive flat out on a nice coating of smooth ice! If the conditions do turn out to be like that, running first
on the road could well be an advantage on the opening day."
#2 : Daniel Sordo/Marc Marti: "I've put
my modest performance in 2007 behind me and, anyway, so much has changed since then. I have
more experience, considerable work has gone into the car and our recent testing has also helped boost
my confidence. I'm not saying that snow has become my favourite type of surface, but I am extremely
fired up to play my part in scoring another top result for CitroŽn following our recent success in
Ireland."

Citroen Junior Team
http://citroen.rallye-info.com/teams.asp?sid=1
Having scored its first very World Rally Championship points at the first round of the season in Ireland, the Citroen Junior Team aims to continue making progress in Norway. The Citroen C4 WRC crews of Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt and Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia that competed in Ireland will be joined by Evgeny Novikov/Dale Moscatt on the only snow rally of the 2009 calendar.
#7 : Evgeny Novikov/Dale Moscatt: No quote available
#8 : Conrad Rautenbach/Daniel Barritt: "It should be a more
straightforward rally for us and we've got some testing planned prior to the start. I'm going to be
driving for two days in the test just to get used to competing on snow. I've not got a lot of experience
on this surface but I've still got a good feeling in these conditions. Our goal is to score points. If we can
keep up the same pace as we had on the first day of Rally Ireland, when we were in the top five, we
should be well-placed to score a good result at the finish."
#11: Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia: "I can't wait to be there although we'll be up against people who have much more experience of snow rallies. I've already driven a Group N car in Sweden, and I'll be able to have a day of testing before the recce. One of the key objectives of that test will be for me to get used to the tyres and the driving style needed on snow. Then, just like Ireland, the goal will be simply to get to the end of the rally without making too many mistakes. We'll have to see where we are after the first few stages before we fix any targets in terms of results."

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford World Rally Team
http://ford.rallye-info.com/teams.asp?sid=2
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team driver Henning Solberg is gunning for victory at his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Norway.
The snow rally specialist warmed up for the freezing-cold event by scoring his best-ever result on asphalt, finishing fourth overall at Rally Ireland last weekend. The Norwegian's outstanding performance suggests he is on the sort of form that could see him challenge for a podium spot on his favoured surface next weekend.
Solberg has a good record at Rally Norway in previous years, finishing third in the 2007 event as the Stobart squad enjoyed its most successful outing in the WRC. The former Stobart crew of Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila came home in fifth on the same rally to secure the best result to date for the Cumbrian squad. Interest in Solberg's performance at the event will be at an all-time high in Norway, and with rally fans across the globe, as he faces off against his brother and former world champion Petter. Petter will be making his first appearance of 2009 in the WRC, and both of the Solberg boys will be looking forward to putting on a show for fans on their favourite stages.
Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk will also be confident of turning in a good performance when they hit the snow-bound stages in Norway. Having led Rally Ireland before an off cost them their shot at a podium, they demonstrated they would need little time to find the pace in the Ford Focus RS WRC. They have also tasted success in Norway earlier in their career, finishing third in the JWRC there in 2007.
#5: Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk: "We have had a decent start to the season and I'm really looking forward to Norway. I have competed there before and enjoyed the stages and I hear they are in great condition for next week. We have a test before the recce so that will definitely help get a good feeling with the new snow tyres and hopefully help my confidence going into this event. The speeds will be high so it will be important to get a good recce and hopefully not make any silly mistakes during the rally this time."
#6 : Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud: "This is the event I have been looking forward to for quite a while now. We had a really good run in Ireland last weekend and I have taken a lot of confidence from that so hopefully we will be able to come away with a good result on my home event; top-three would be great. Everyone is talking about the big battle with Petter but I'm not worrying about him, I just want to go as fast as I can for as long as I can. I know the stages reasonably well, they are in really good shape, and I think this will be a great rally; really exciting for all the Norwegian fans and a great chance to show Expert and Stobart what I can do."
#16 : Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin: "I really enjoy snow rallies, they are a unique experience, and I can't wait to start in Norway. I've seen some photos of the stages and they look to be in fantastic condition. The only unknown factor will be the new tyres, but we've heard good reports from previous tests and I will get a chance to try them when we have our own test on Monday. We started well in Ireland and now the emphasis for me is to continue to collect driver points and build upon our consistent performances."

5. Event Statistics
"
Rally Norway (February 12-15), round 2 of 12.
"
Surface: gravel stages covered in snow and ice.
"
Host town: Hamar.

Practical information: Rally HQ is based at Hamar's Scandic Hotel, while the 'Viking Ship' serves

Technical matters: the engines used in Norway were sealed in Ireland and will go on to contest
Tyres: each crew will have 42 studded Pirelli Sottozero tyres available for the event. Competitors
Recce: Tuesday February 10 (8.00am to 6.00pm) and Wednesday February 11 (8.00am to
Shakedown: Thursday February 12 (8.00am to 12.00 noon). Uses a 3.35km stage near Nydal
Press conference: Thursday February 12 (1.30pm), Media Centre.

6. Event Schedule
Thursday 12 February: Day 1 Oslo - Hamar
Start Oslo
SS1 Oslo 1.92km 20.04
Finish Hamar No later than 02.30
Friday 13 February: Day 1 (continued) Hamar - Hamar
Start Hamar 07.00
Serv A Hamar Viking Ship (15 mins) 07.10
SS2 Opaker 1 14.62km 09.05
SS3 Kirkenaer 1 8.00km 09.39
SS4 Finnskogen 1 20.87km 10.19
SS5 Kongsvinger 1 13.45km 11.13
RSZ B Kongsvinger (15 mins) 12.00
SS6 Opaker 2 14.62km 12.51
SS7 Finnskogen 2 20.87km 13.51
SS8 Kongsvinger 2 13.45km 14.45
SS9 Kirkenaer 2 8.00km 15.46
Serv C Hamar Viking Ship (45 mins) 17.52
Finish Hamar 18.47
Total 115.80km
Saturday 14 February: Day 2 Hamar - Hamar
Start Hamar 06.20
Serv D Hamar Viking Ship (15 mins) 06.30
SS10 Mountain 1 24.36km 07.53
SS11 Lillehammer 1 6.67km 08.58
SS12 Ringsaker 1 27.29km 09.58
SS13 Hamar 1 1.15km 11.04
Serv E Hamar Viking Ship (30 mins) 11.37
SS14 Mountain 2 24.36km 13.15
SS15 Lillehammer 2 6.67km 14.20
SS16 Ringsaker 2 27.29km 15.20
SS17 Hamar 2 1.15km 16.26
Serv F Hamar Viking Ship (45 mins) 16.49
Finish Hamar 17.44
Total 118.94km
Sunday 15 February: Day 3 Hamar - Hamar
Start Hamar 06.20
Serv G Hamar Viking Ship (15 mins) 06.30
SS18 VŚler 1 30.03km 07.34
SS19 Elverum 1 13.31km 08.35
SS20 Budor 1 19.74km 09.23
Serv H Hamar Viking Ship (30 mins) 10.40
SS21 VŚler 2 30.03km 11.59
SS22 Elverum 2 13.31km 13.00
SS23 Budor 2 19.74km 13.48
Serv I Hamar Viking Ship (10 mins) 14.55
Finish Hamar Viking Ship 15.05
Total 126.16km
Rally total 360.90km

7. Championship Points
Full standings http://www.rallye-info.com/points.asp