lauantai 27. lokakuuta 2012

Tahko-ralli 13th of October 2012, Nilsiä

After Finnish rally championship had ended I had a chance to sit one rally in my brother's group F BMW M3. My friend Aki who normally co-drives for my brother Mikko couldn't make it and of course I volunteered to sit in the M3. I had gotten used to the Fiesta R2 with 170hp, top speed of  ~160km/h and pace notes in my hand. In M3 you´ve got a bit under 300hp, top speed of  ~200km/h and no pace notes. So a bit of mental adjustment to be done. We all headed to Nilsiä already on Friday since the start was so early that there was no sense to wake up 3am in the morning if you tried to sleep at home. At Nilsiä there were 91km of special stages so a nice long rally for one day.

It wasn't to be our rally unfortunately. The roads were really fast. We just didn't have the guts to leave the braking points as late as the fastest drivers when the speeds were over 150km/h or so. On some stages we were banging against the rev limiter and the digital speedometer was showing 205km/h. On stage number five our average speed was 130km/h and the fastest cars had 136km/h. On legendary Ouninpohja stage in Rally Finland the average speed is 130km/h -> with WRC cars and using pace notes. In the beginning of the rally we had some under steering problems, but we got those sorted out in the first service. After that the driving was easier and Mikko had more confidence in the M3.
Picture by Ari Lehikoinen. Ari is the man who has sprayed the orange colour on Mikko's M3. Ari also paints other stuff than car so a true artist.
But it was a nice event and definitely my last rally for this year. There aren't any more rallies in Finnish rally calendar so all I can do is to wait for next year. If there aren't any major changes in plans probably the next time I'm sitting in a rally car is during winter testing around Christmas time. I counted that during 2012 I did 7 FRC events, 2 smaller local rallies, Neste Rally Finland and some testing. So 10 rallies + roughly 5 weekends of testing. Added to that physical training and pace note training. It's good to unwind a little bit now that I have the chance.