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Kimi Rally Japan review

17th September 2010
Sayonara too early I would never ever claim Rally Japan to be easy. But - in the end of the day - it was not the trickiest rally in the world. It¹s a very challenging rally. The roads are very narrow. But, any way, it was great fun to race there. We just went off. Obviously it was my fault. But I just could not help it. There was a simple misunderstanding with the pace notes in that corner. We came just a little bit too fast there ­ and then it was sayonara to this rally. It was quite close to get the car back in control, but it did not work out. The car slipped smoothly to the bushes. It was a shame there was not a single soul hanging around in that area. So the car got stuck there and we could not get it back to the road anymore. Well, that was the second DNF of the season. It¹s always annoying to loose some valuable miles in this way. Obviously, it hurts always painfully, if you make even a small error with the WRC car, while with F1 racing car you just go off and most often come back very quickly to the circuit. My first visit to Sapporo and Hokkaido island was more or less like expected. While there were no tests after German rally on tarmac, to begin a such different rally was not that simple. We started in a stadium and then straight away we continued to gravel on very soft and slippery roads. The first day we had some technical issues with car in the beginning. It took some time to find the solutions to these problems and the right settings. But finally it worked out well and the speed was there to fight the TOP-10 positions. Our target was to finish the rally. Well, we didn¹t. At least it was good to be there until Sunday morning and collect plenty of new experience from this kind of special rally. When you are in this business of rally, you have to get used to such a difficult things, too. That is the name of the game while digging deep in this learning curve of WRC rally sports. The next rally is France. That is a new rally for everybody. It¹s a tarmac rally and, of course, it feels more familiar for me compared to the new gravel challenges ­ like Japan, for example. Obviously, we will have a test to get the better grips with it, too. It¹s going to be my fourth tarmac rally with Red Bull Citroen C3 WRC. The target is the same: to finish the rally without any major mistakes.