Raikkonen’s debut WRC season with the Citroen Junior Team got off to a
shaky start in Sweden when he drove into a snow bank, and got worse on
the next round in Mexico when he rolled his C4 WRC off the road. But in
Jordan, only his eighth-ever rally, a largely mistake-free performance
netted him a top ten result.
Eighth place was Raikkonen’ best finish in the World Rally Championship,
and secured him his first drivers’ championship points.
The 339 competitive kilometres of the Jordan Rally was the longest time
that the former Grand Prix champion has ever spent in a rally car on
gravel, and now he is looking forward to more action in Turkey at the
end of the month.
"From the beginning my goal was to get to the end of the rally and I’m
really pleased that we’ve been able to do that even though the
conditions were difficult," said Raikkonen. "As the stages went on I’ve
learned more and more, and my confidence has grown bigger as well. We
came to Jordan with very little experience of the car on gravel and now
we’ve practically doubled it. I’m getting to know the car better now,
but the important thing as well is that I’ve really enjoyed these three
days. We’re making progress, which is why we are here, and hopefully
this will continue on the next round in Turkey."
Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom also enjoyed his first visit to the
Jordan Rally, scoring his first points as a co-driver since finishing
third with the legendary four-time World Champion Tommi Makinen on the
2003 Rally Great Britain.
"It’s been a very good event for us," added Kaj. "Kimi’s speed has been
really impressive for someone who has hardly been driving any rallies at
all: he’s already doing the same sort of times as people with much more
experience. The key to this event was just making sure that we got to
the end with no mistakes – and this is only the start. We’re going to be
seeing a lot more of Kimi in the future…"
Raikkonen set for more points, says team chief
Kimi Raikkonen’s team boss believes the ex-Formula One star’s points’
finish on the Jordan Rally will be the first of many in this year’s
World Rally Championship.
Raikkonen finished eighth on the gravel event last weekend in his Red
Bull-backed Citroen C4 WRC. He is now 11th in the drivers’ standings,
one place behind Super 2000 World Rally Championship pacesetter Xevi
Benoit Nogier, who runs the Citroen Junior Team, said: “I am very
happy for Kimi to finish with this result. He drove very well on this
rally and getting the car to the finish in one piece was very important.
The fact he scored points was the cherry on the cake and I believe this
will be the first of many occasions when he is in the points this