The rally changed from Kemer to Istanbul which also changed the conditions and the roads from technical hard surface to fast and rocky. On the second day of the race there were some parts driven on tarmac with gravel tyres which needed fast changed in the rhythm. Mostly the rally was driven on gravel, though. I started well. I was second on the opening stage on Friday but after that I lost my rhythm on stages two, three and four. We had service after the fourth stage and then we went back to drive the morning stages again plus one super special downtown Istanbul. In the afternoon my driving was okay again but I couldn’t reach Sebastien Ogier or Dani Sordo who were driving very fast. Ogier was leading the rally after Friday; Sordo was second and Mikko Hirvonen third. I was sixth but only 27,5 seconds behind the lead. The first stage of Saturday morning was 18 kilometers with first 13 kilometers on tarmac. I had a good place because I was the sixth car on the road and I meant to take advantage of that. But something happened. I had driven only one kilometer when I came to a long full crest to the right. In my pace notes I had ‘full’ but the tyres weren’t warm enough and the car started to slide. I kept the gas pedal on the floor but the car didn’t obey and it went into a ditch and off the road with tyres up into the air. Luckily there were some spectators to help us back on our tyres and back to the road again in four minutes and we could continue. The front of the car suffered some damage but no trouble in the steering or suspension. Unfortunately the turbo hose got a small hole which caused a leak and now we had no turbo power. We drove the stages 10 to 13 slowly through and got to the service. We lost over 18 minutes and dropped to the 17 th position. The car was fixed in the service and I tried to reach at least the position number ten to get some points to the team. In the afternoon everything went smoothly and we got to position 12. Sunday morning’s two stages (18 and 19) were cancelled because the rain had made them too muddy. In the afternoon they got dry enough and were driven. Yet some sections were slippery and stressful to drive. On one of these slippery sections Sordo went off and retired. My day was calm and we rose into the eight position. I got four personal points and the team six points. Once again Sebastien Loeb won. Petter Solberg was second and Mikko Hirvonen third.

Invalid Displayed Gallery