Kaj Lindström Rally France review

7th October 2010
Co-driver¹s point of view A French visit First of all I have to admit the level of expectations being quite high before the Rally d¹Alsace in France. We are not speaking too much about this with Kimi beforehand, but, obviously, we had a good feeling for a good result in this brand new rally. It was suppose to be a tarmac rally, but the weather made it quite different. Cutting the corners made the roads worse and worse all the time. It was so full of mud and sand that you could not tell it being asphalt instead of gravel. Most likely, in the end of the day, we could have gone faster with the gravel tyres. Well, it gave a different charasteristics for the whole rally. The circumstances were tricky because of dank weather and because of very steep downhill sections. Actually it became worse and worse stage by stage. It¹s was difficult and not only for us. While comparing our stage times for example to Mikko Hirvonen, you could see him having the same problems like we did. In day one we had a technical issue with the car. But it was solved and we had P7 after Friday. But after that we got too much extra program on Saturday. We slipped out of the road with very slow speed. While it was mud all over the place, the car got stuck from the bottom on the egde of the ditch. It took some time to decide how to go from there. I tried my very best with my poor French to get a rope. Finally they found a piece of rope and with that we could pull the car to the road and keep on going again. Obviously, the motivation was not the best of them all anymore after loosing half an hour to our competitors, so we just tried to focus on collecting good experience in these very tricky circumstances. Then we had an other spin and this time to car was so deep in the gradient that we could not get it back anymore. On Sunday there would have been only one proper stage to drive, so Kimi decided that¹s it and we packed our things on Saturday evening and left for home. It¹s was sensible decision, while we could save the car and the engine for the next Rally Catalunya. Especially while we would not have learnt anymore of tarmac rally, that¹s for sure. Sebastien Loeb clinched one world title more on his account. He is there in the level of his own. We had a chat with Seb on Saturday evening in the hotel and, of course, we sent him a sms to congratulate him for the victory and the for the championship. Now we head for Spain. There will be at least two nice days on a real asphalt. Day one will be 70% on gravel and 30% on tarmac. After two DNFs it¹s time for us to finish that rally with good feeling from the beginning until the last special stage. The car is ready, the engine is ready ­ and so are we.