Kimi Rally France preview
Vive la France!
Well, this is the rally we have been looking forward with very positive feelings since the Rally Bulgaria in mid-July.
We are heading for the second brand new tarmac rally of the WRC season. As well as we got some handicap in Bulgaria, I expect having a tiny advantage in our side against the frontrunners in Rally France, too.
Obviously, the other drivers won’t be benefitting that much of the pace notes from last ten years and the familiarity of the roads. This time we all are starting more or less from the same level and all of us has to learn all the stages from now on.
We didn’t have a test session after Rally Japan, but, instead, we went to the local French Rally of Vosgien. It was good practise and good fun. We achieved some good results, we found some good things in the car and we got a good feel with the French roads similiar we are gonna have in the WRC rally this weekend.
Me and my co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were happy with the work we did and with the feeling we had in the car during those special stages. We started the rally with basic set-up, moved to a wrong way, but coming back to the basics it went right and now we should have a solid foundation to start the real rally on Friday.
Obviously, it’s very difficult to say anything beforehand how the rally goes this time. We have to wait until we get there in the area and start pushing. We go there to find the right rhytm quickly and to get things going smoothly since the very beginning this time.
To finish the rally without major errors is the target as always, but you never know, unfortunately, while I’m still lacking the long rally experience to score good results every time.
For the teams with Citroen WRC C4 cars, this will be a special weekend. While you drive a rally with a French car in France, you will get a lot of support and cheering from all the French fans. The French are real rally people like my Finnish compariots. For sure, the atmosphere is going to great – like in Finland.
Sebastien Loeb has a chance to clinch his world title. I don’t know how many of them he has, I have lost in counting long time ago, but one thing I know – he doing all he can to win his home rally and become a champion at home.
We hang on the do our very best. I still feel frustrated with some mistakes we had in the last couple of rallies. It feels just good to go back to tarmac, which gives me a cozy feeling every time.
We had a good training with a local rally in Italia before Bulgaria and that helped us there. I just hope the good feeling we got from Vosgien rally helps us in the same way this weekend in Strasborg area as well.