Tunturi rally’s – or more EU-wise Arctic Lapland
Rally – feelings are more high than usual at the eve of the rally.
Daniel Sordo and Kimi Räikkönen will participate in the traditional
national rally as outsiders and attract a huge international interest.
"The world will go crazy over this," rally-boss Heikki Poranen sums it
Wednesday’s snow storm put all the organisers against the wall. Yet
Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström managed to finish their note work.
Just like last year all possible accomodation was sold out already in
the beginning of December. Last year there were over 10,000 spectators.
Räikkönen’s first official rally as a rally driver is something that
interests all motorsport-quarters.
Räikkönen and Lindström had a chance to test Citroen’s C4 WRC cannon for
three days and they drove all and all about 400 km.
"Of course there aren’t too many tests for Kimi at this point of his
career. We got a positive feeling about them. We learned a lot about the
car and saw how the setups work. We got it so that it fit Kimi’s hand
and that was the main thing," Lindström said.
Räikkönen started with Sebastien Loeb’s basic setups for Norway’s rally
in 2008 and he took it from there to the direction he wanted.
"Tunturi-rally is only a test for Sweden. The reason why we wanted to
go to Tunturi was that we could test how much more we can perform with
this car compared to last year’s Fiat in the same place," Lindström told.
"The tests were always good in rally but the race itself will educate
you in a completely different way. The way we think in rally is
completely different from the way they think in F1. In F1 you learn by
testing and practising the track’s every single corner in a certain way.
In rally you have to look for a compromise in testing so that it will
work properly in different places and conditions."
Driving with Sordo will offer Räikkönen a challenging comparison.
"Sordo’s pace will show the speed you have in WRC. Dani is usually 3rd
when two guys are going even faster. It’s important for us to get
driving experience. In rally we climb up these stairs slowly but when we
put our helmets on we will always do our best."
Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindström knows best what kind of a steering wheel-man Räikkönen is in a
"That guy sure knows how to drive a car. When you have drove F1 with
the powers Kimi has, these WRC-cars’ 350 horsepowers aren’t from a that
different world. That won’t be a problem. But when you can’t remember
every place in rally you have to make pace notes and drive according to
So first Kimi has to:
"Kimi will do it well but he still has to find that 100% trust before
the job works completely," Lindström summed up.
Rovaniemi for the Arctic Lapland Rally! Today was the shakedown as all
cars arrived for scrutineering, including Kimi’s brother Rami who will
be joining in on the fun starting tomorrow. Don’t forget to check out the pictures and join in the
forum fun to follow the rally closely over the weekend.
Arctic Lapland Rally receives an outstanding
interest from the media!
Arctic Lapland Rally has received the most outstanding interest from the
media during its history of 45 years from both national and
international press. Altogether 176 reporters and photographers have
accredited from 9 different countries with 41 reporters from abroad. In
addition, the Arctic Rally media center is constantly receiving requests
from all around the world. The main point of interest is of course the
battle between Kimi Räikkönen and Daniel Sordo as they race with equal
cars in the snowy landscape of Lapland. Kimi started off with a test
drive at 2 pm from an honor road of the media. The test drive of
Räikkönen had been smooth and energetic.
Kimi Finishes Arctic Shakedown
"I don’t have any special target," said Raikkonen at the pre-rally
press conference in Rovaniemi. "This is just for learning. We will just
drive and see how we are. There are many things to find out."
According to his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, Raikkonen’s biggest
challenge will be learning to use pace notes: "You need the confidence
to trust and commit to the notes," he said. "This is where we will
improve most. But I have no doubt that Kimi has the speed."
Raikkonen completed yesterday’s shakedown stage without any problems,
taking just two runs through what will be his final preparation before
his inaugural rally in the Citroen.
Raikkonen and Sordo will face little opposition on the event, as the
overwhelming majority of entrants are driving Group N machinery. The
opening stage of the rally gets underway at 12:23 (local time) today.
The first car is due to enter parc ferme after leg one at 21:12 tonight.
The conditions for the event are perfect, with temperatures hovering
around -20C and snow still falling.
Watch this video of Sordo and Raikkonen rolling out their camps for the shakedown, courtesy of Jarno Siivola. And there is also a seven minute interview with Kimi in Finnish from YLE:
A Chat With Kimi: Rally Replaces Kimi’s Will To Win
From Heikki Kulta at TS.fi | Translation courtesy of Nicole
Kimi Räikkönen’s debut with Red Bull Citroen’s
WRC car has attracted 170 media people to Rovaniemi. As many as there
were when Ferrari and McLaren presented their cars this week.
On Thursday night Räikkönen spent over an hour interviewed first by the
tv and after that by the press people.
In F1 you said that you will always drive for victory? Is it possible
this year in rally?
"No and that’s for sure. There are pretty tough drivers out there and
they have raced for many years the same rallies. They remember quite a
lot from the stages and know what to do where. Like I said, you have to
learn a lot before you get experience and can start improving your pace,"
So this new challenge with a WRC car will replace his will to win this
What kind of expectations do you have from Sweden’s rally?
"Everything is new to me so first of all I have to be patient. It’s
difficult to say what to expect when I haven’t raced with this car.
We’ll see in Sweden how it goes. It’s useless to say anything beforehand
when there are so many things that can go wrong," Räikkönen said.
Sordo can’t afford to lose
On Thursday Räikkönen got some comparison to Daniel Sordo’s times when
the duo drove the same stages with the same cars.
"Tunturi-rally is just a practice for Sweden. It’s difficult to say how
it goes here either. I have so much to learn in many things so the
result doesn’t mean anything to me in this race. You will see our pace
Sordo has drove in even colder conditions in Norways. Tunturi is his 6th
snow rally. How badly will it hurt if the 3rd overall in WRC would lose
to Räikkönen right from the beginning?
"Kimi is undoubtly fast but we try to go faster. If Kimi is faster it’s
not a good thing for me," Sordo thought.
Räikkönen had time to test for three days with Citroen before the races
start. If there is need for it, can you test as much as you want?
"Of course there are some limitations. It depends on so many things,
what kind of contracts who has and who pays what. I’m not even sure what
the regulations say but I think you can test pretty freely in WRC.
Other teams test, others don’t," Räikkönen said.
Räikkönen denied many times the claims that he wouldn’t have been
motivated in F1 tests.
"Everyone can have their own view even if I wouldn’t even know about
the whole thing. The truth is that I have never had anything against any
test where you try new parts and new things. It’s a different thing if
you just drive 600 km per day just to try if the car can take it without
Big brother Rami Räikkönen will drive in Tunturi in Kimi’s old car Fiat
Abarth Grande Punto. Now the brothers compete on rally paths for the
"It’s still my car but when Rami wanted to try rally and has been doing
it for a longer time as a hobby I thought why not?"
Own pace notes to polish
So at what stage will the widely discussed Räikkönen’s practice to make
pace notes take place? How much do you trust the notes Kaj Lindström
"I trust in them because I have made them myself. There are many
things. Of course I trust what Kaitsu says when I have made them myself
and he has so much experience that if I would have made them totally
senseless, he would have mentioned about it already when we made them.
There won’t be that kind of a mistake. It’s more about the driver
listening properly to the notes so that he doesn’t make an error because
of not listening."
"There is a lot to learn so that you can make good notes in a good
place and precisely understand how fast you can drive there. Easily it
goes so that if you can’t describe it well enough it means that you
can’t drive as fast as you should."
A year in rally is not an obstacle for
coming back to F1
Did you look at Ferrari’s new F10 car from the internet?
"I have seen the car. It’s hard to say anything based upon pictures. I
guess they will start testing it next week. You see it then. It looked a
lot like it looked last year ago too. Nothing terribly different,"
Räikkönen summed up.
Do you still have a burn for a comeback to F1?
"I have no contract with anyone for year 2011. Of course a lot depends
on what happens and where. I guess I have a long year ahead of me and
you can never know what is going to happen."
Will this year be wasted if you decide to go back to F1?
" It’s not wasted in any way. I always do my best. In the final games
this was the best option of all options for this year. That’s why I
drive rally now."