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Top Four Finish Exceeds All Of Pedder’s Expectations
Scott Pedder has exceeded all of his pre-event expectations by finishing fourth in the WRC2 category at Rally Finland earlier today. Pedder and co-driver Dale Moscatt had sat fifth in the standings at the conclusion of the event, but a technical review of the Citroen DS3 of Frenchman Stephane Lefebvre found that it did not comply to the regulations and was excluded, bumping Pedder up a place.
“When I started this incredible event I imagined maybe if we had a good, clean run we could finish in the top eight,” explained Pedder. “So to finish fifth, then to learn you’ve finished fourth, is actually quite unbelievable.”
“To be able to be near the pace of guys like Yurii Protasov, who has won Rounds of the WRC2, and to be able to keep Anders Grondal behind us over the course of the weekend is hugely positive and reassuring.”
After twenty rollercoaster stages totalling over 320 competitive kilometres Pedder and Moscatt continued to be thrilled by the support of the Finnish fans. “I just can’t get over how many of the locals have come up and told us what an impressive job we did this weekend. It means an incredible lot to me, and Dale, to have that sort of recognition as a first timer at the event.”
With just two stages making up the final Leg Pedder, who had made further suspension changes to his Ford Fiesta R5 overnight, attacked the opening test and set the fourth fastest WRC2 time. “It still wasn’t maximum attack but it was pretty close,” laughed Scott. “The suspension changes we made really felt great, so it gave me the confidence to push harder.”
In fact Pedder believes that the suspension setup in his car played a massive part in his success this weekend. “When I think back to the setup in the car back in Portugal, and compare it to what we’ve run this weekend, it’s hard to even recognise the two,” he said.
“To be honest we’ve actually adjusted the suspension as far as we can go in the car, we’re at the limit. Any further changes, and I would like to make more, will involve re-valving the shocks.”
Rally Finland marks the fourth and final WRC2 appearance Pedder had planned in Europe, although he admits he had left the option open to return towards the end of the season if budgets permitted.
“The plan was always to contest Rally Australia too, our home Round of the WRC,” said Pedder. “We’re just finalising our plans because it’s a long way from Europe to Australia to bring a car and team, but I’m very excited on the plans we’ve got and looking forward to making an announcement in the next week or so.”
“Even though it’s our home rally I’m not expecting things to be any easier for us. I’m expecting guys like Nasser Al-Attiyah, Jari Ketomaa, maybe even Jarkko Nikara or Sander Parn to enter, and they’ve all done that rally as many times as I have so there really is no local advantage.”
“Having said that as our home Round it would be terrific to achieve another result like we did this weekend in Finland in front of our local fans!” added Scott.
Coates Hire Rally Australia, the tenth Round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship runs from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th September from Coffs Harbour.
WRC2 Rally Finland Results After Leg Three
1. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Skoda Fabia R5) 2h40m15.0s
2. Pontus Tidemand / Emil Axelsson (Skoda Fabia R5) +1m41.0s
3. Yurii Protasov / Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RRC) +4m58.3s
4. Scott Pedder / Dale Moscatt (Ford Fiesta R5) +6m45.6s
5. Anders Grondal / Roger Eilertsen (Citroen DS3 R5) +8m17.8s
About The Rally
The spiritual home of rallying waits as Round Eight of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship takes drivers to the ultra-fast and flowing gravel roads of Rally Finland.
Held in the Finnish Lake District, and based out of the University town of Jyväskylä, the rally is flat out from start to finish with smooth roads that invite high-speed but also require pinpoint accuracy. The many high-flying jumps over blind crests leave little margin for error, with the unwary falling foul of the many roadside ditches or the ever-present pine forests that line the roads.
A street stage begins proceedings on Thursday night, before the events longest day on Friday, which includes the fear-inspiring Ouninpohja stage run twice. Saturday and Sunday’s shorter Leg’s will still prove a challenge before the finish line back in Jyväskylä on Sunday afternoon.