Tampere was the final round of Finnish rally championship. A short list of things that made it a bit special compared to some of the other rallies: it’s the final round of the championship, Jari lives in Tampere so it’s his home rally, the service park was located in Särkänniemi amusement park, only 1h40min drive to Tampere for me through motorway from Helsinki and in Tampere area the stages are usually great.
Since it was Jari’s home rally we had a chance of having a small warm up test on Thursday evening. That helped to get into rally feeling when driving in the darkness. When picking up the paper work next morning we noticed that all of the stages were old Rally Finland stages from the 80’s and 90’s so for sure we were in for a treat. After doing the pace notes for last stage called Pengonpohja Jari made a good analysis of the stage -> If a codriver has “a timing problem in his engine” then there is a need for a new chassis for the rally car after this stage”. I agreed with his analysis. Pengonpohja is a great stage which turns and goes up and down all the time.
First two stages were driven already on Friday evening. Actually it was the legendary Savo stage which was to be driven twice. First during the daylight and a couple of hours later when we it was dark. We took it with normal pace on both times and the times were good. We were 7th overall, but in the lead wereNikara and Kruuda both with S2000 cars. Among the normal guys driving the whole series we were 5th. So not bad at all.
The morning didn’t start well for us. Jari didn’t find a good rhythm on the really fast Siikama stage and we dropped to ninth. All the stages on Saturday were to be driven twice. The same phenomenon occurred on the first loop and on the second loop. Siikama didn’t go well on either times. After Siikama wasViitapohja and on both times we liked the stage a lot. After Viitapohja was Pengonpohja and on both times after Pengonpohja we were both ecstatic. Have to say that the stage is probably the second greatest stage I have seen. Ouninpohja still being the greatest. Those two stages can’t really really be compared since Ouninpohja is wider road and faster. Anyhow a great stage to end our championship. We ended up 6th in the championship and luckily my mistake in Turku didn’t matter in the standings.
This is the time to thank our sponsors for the season. Like always without whom the season wouldn’t have been possible. Big thank you for our mechanics for keeping the car in order and the sprits high throughout the season. After all this is a team sport. Also from my part thanks for Jari. We had a fun season and it’s easy to continue the cooperation for 2014. Our plans aren’t a big secret. The Finnish 4wd class will be divided into two classes. Our plan is to fight in the SM1 –class among the big boys. The class allows quite free modifications to group N cars. We’ll probably just tune the engine a bit, but otherwise keep the car as it is. As usual the season starts with the legendary Arctic Lapland Rally inRovaniemi. So that I wouldn’t keep a three month radio silence from writing a blog I’ll think of something to write about every now and then.