Kimi Finnish Rally preview
Home race in First Class
Obviously, I’ve been around for a long period of time in motorsports. So it’s about the right moment to do something really different!
This weekend I will have my first ever World Championship level race on my home soil with the First Class competitive car. Well, we did The Finnish Rally last year with my co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, but you cannot compare it to this challenge.
Red Bull Citroen WRC C4 is a real fast car. The speed of WRC is incredibly higher compared to that of S2000 car, we used last year in Jyvaskyla.
While I was with Formula One, you could see a lot of Finnish flags waved in Hungary in the embankments around the circuit. They say it’s a Finnish Grand Prix, but, yet, it’s not in Finland. Now with rally I have a real home race and, obviously, the feeling could not be any better than this.
It’s going to be a jubilee year of the Finnish Rally and there will be a lot of fans coming there to cheer and support all the Finnish drivers. For sure, that will give us something extra to push really hard.
For me this is the highlight of the season. With F1 I could see how much a race in your own home country meant to people like Schumacher, Alonso and Massa. Well, now I can experience that luxury feeling myself, too.
We did the rally last year and, obviously, it will help a little bit. We have basis where to build on. All year long it has been better and better with the pace notes. Now it’s exciting to start making the notes for a rally you have done earlier a year ago.
Last year it was D.N.F. because of a small mistake in the last stage of Saturday evening. Well, that stage of Vaarinmaja, is still there. This time I want to make it right back there, too. It’s a great challenge to go fast in this rally. You cannot miss a single moment. It’s a question of 100% focus with every single meter you race.
We had a great test session before the rally. For Finnish rally it’s very important to test and this time I felt we improved the car very nicely. I really like these roads a lot. It’s just great to be able to go faster.
I know this sounds boring to the fans, but we keep on going to this rally with the same objective as we have had in every single WRC rally this year. The most important thing is to finish the rally.
Only by succeeding in that, you can get some points. The realistic target is to finish the rally without major mistakes. If we make it, we’ll be in between P5-P10. It would be very good.
Juha Kankkunen will make his comeback to rally. It will very interesting to see his pace. Juha has had something like 22 Finnish Rallies before, so there is not a single place he doesn’t know. Welcome back Juha!