2010 Columns

Kimi’s Column: Rally Bulgaria Review

Source: | Finnish Translation courtesy of Nicole

One ditch too much…

We finished the rally. We got the kilometers we had set for our target
but didn’t take the points. It bugs because there were a few small
misses and we couldn’t stay in the bunch of ten until up to Saturday

I have to say that Jyskälä is a great rally. I can’t but congratulate the Finnish rally fans.

This is a rally country and the whole gang was fully with us alongside
the roads starting from six in the morning. It gives you a great feeling
to drive with a support like that.

I have never got so much support anywhere else and I’m sure all the other Finnish drivers think exactly the same way.

The new format worked well. We drove for two days from morning to
evening. I thought it was a successful trial. It felt completely
different than it has felt in other races.

I have to say that it’s cool to run a fast rally like this with a decent
machine. These are great cars. We enjoyed every stage "100" when
there’s twisting and power to push, the chassis works and the brakes are
top class.

It was difficult in the beginning. We didn’t really get into the rhythm.
We tried different settings before we got the setup to fall in place
and set some good SS-times after that. There was a good twist too when
we got to race against Kankkunen’s Juha for the 7th position. The age
isn’t weighing him down, that’s for sure. He went that fast.

Of course you are never completely satisfied with any stage but there was a few after which we could smile for a reason.

Then Kolonkulma on Saturday morning just went wrong. The car slided on
the morning stage to a ditch in a corner turning to the right. We didn’t
go terribly fast but it was a deep ditch and the car got stuck. We
tried to get it up by using the gas but only managed to break the front.
Luckily there was enough gang so that we got help to get back on the

After that we had to do some tyre work because we only had one spare
tyre. One tyre was completely wasted but the other one could be put back
on the rim.

We jumped on it for a while and got to continue our journey.

Congratulations to the fan who is somewhere dragging the Citroen bumper as a souvenir.

It went well since we could continue. After the service we got all the
pieces back. The rest went well. We got important kilometers of the
rally pace both for the car and the dude.

It was great that we got a Finnish winner in Finland’s WRC-rally. It means a lot to the rally people.

Now we will change from gravel back to tarmac. We will test in Germany
next weekend and after that we are ready for the next challenge. Let’s
see how it hits in Germany.


Kimi’s Column: Pre – Rally Finland

Source: | Finnish translation courtesy of Nicole The Home Race in First Class

I’ve been waiting for this for so long when being in motorsport and now
I finally get to drive for the first time in the very first class a
World Championship-race in Finland. We drove in Jyväskylä with Kaitsu
last year already but you can’t compare it to this. This WRC-car is a
completely different machine than the 2000 was a year ago. The speeds a
insanely much harder.

In F1 somewhere in Hungary the benches were filled with Finland’s
flags but it’s completely different to drive a real home race. We are
in high feelings when there are lots of people coming to the
jubilee-rally and all of us Finnish drivers will get a lot of support
alongside the route.

This is my highlight of the season. A home race still means the most for every driver.

It was a little helpful that we have already drove through the route. The basics are done.

Pace noting has started to go better all the time.

Oh well, we didn’t finish the rally last time because of that tiny
screw-up on Saturday night during the last stage in Väärinmaja. This
time the same spot won’t be lurking. Now I have that sort of a machine
that goes a lot faster.

I just have to be really sharp so that the car stays on the road. got a really good testing under the belt again. Everything
worked insanely well and we got the car better. I dig these roads. This
is now the 7th WRC-rally this year and after so many starts it becomes
all the time more easier to understand how to work on the car.

It’s way more cooler to jump in the cabin and start pushing the
home race when I have chances to drive faster than last year. It won’t
yet change the fact that even though we go faster, the dudes in the
front go insanely fast when compared to others.

We are again going to follow the same scheme. For us the most
important thing is that we finish the rally. That’s the only way to
score points and we want them. It’s completely realistic to be in
positions 5-10 with an even performance provided we don’t screw up.
It’s a good goal.

Kankkunen’s Juha is making a comeback and it’s really interesting
to see what his pace is. He has drove Jyskälä 20 times so nothing there
will suprise him in any way. Welcome back!


Kimi’s Column: Rally Bulgaria Preview

Source: | Finnish Translation courtesy of Nicole

To The Tarmac With Feeling break in June came and went. We chilled out a bit and did some work

It was a good break. Now it feels like starting a new season again.

At this point we go to tarmac. It doesn’t help that I have been
hammering tracks all my life. Driving rally on tarmac is a completely
different deal than driving on the track.

Somehow it just feels more familiar to me. There’s more grip even though
it changes all the time. I’ve been waiting for a tarmac rally and here
it is now.

It’s a fact but it’s also a fact that the lead goes fast whether it’s
gravel or tarmac.

After Portugal I drove one rally in Italy and tested for two days in

That Italian small rally served it’s purpose well. It was my first
tarmac rally with a WRC-car and I was pleased with the result. We found
the speed immediately, got some touch into the car and to the right
racing circumstances. It was important that we could practice notes and
making them on tarmac.

Then we also had a good test. Everything worked. I got a lot more
self-confidence and touch in the car. The feelings were best so far.

The grip is more even on tarmac but when you cut the corners with a
rally car the grip changes all the time. It’s the same on all surfaces.

Turkey was the first new place for everybody and we did well. It has
been my best rally so far. Bulgaria is also a new place for everybody
just like Turkey was. It probably helps us a little but let’s just keep
the goals the same.

First we have to get to the chequered flag and feel better that the car
is mine.

Let’s see after that what the result is.

It would be important to find a good rhythm right from the first stage.
The dudes in the lead already have the experience in the back of their
head so they will immediately go fast. The routine comes only after we
have had enough rally kilometers.

I can tell you that much that it’s fun. I have the feeling that I’m
learning more all the time. After Bulgaria the tests for Jyskälä starts.
And then we drive our home race. These are the highlights of the

At this time of year drivers are taken and brought into every place in
the rumour mills. The circus is the same in F1 as it is in WRC too. I
don’t stress about them at all. We make decisions when it’s time for it.
I guess I will be driving somewhere next year too….

Kimi’s Column: Rally Portugal Review


One Point and lots of happening

It was exactly how we expected it would to be: Tha Rally de Portugal was
as tricky as the Rally of Jordan. We got the right information. I guess,
these two are the most difficult rallies in the calender.

We finished the rally in Jordan and we managed to finish the in the
rally in Portugal as well. Now we got some points from three sucessive
races. It’s an ok result, but, obviously, it could have been a little bit better
in Portugal.

We had position 8 in our hands, but we then had few problems, lost a lot of time
and finally we were happy to finish the rally in sunday. Tha puncture
on sunday morning was an annoying experience, but shit
happens. It’s a part of motor racing and it happens to all for us

Right in the beginning we lost time, while we went out of the road and
had push the car back using the reserve. Then on Sunday morning the
feeling in the car was better and better, I cut a corner too fast and we
had a big moment on two wheels. Well, we were lucky. I didn’t roll over
and it came back. After that it was a just question to bring car home.

It was like in every rally that the surface changes radically, while you
do the stage for a second time.

Obviously, it was very difficult route all the way long and the changes,
they were even bigger compared to other places.

The gap to the top guys is huge, but there is nothing surprising in
that. We have know since the very beginning of this season, that the
front runners are very, very quick. You have to have a lot confidence in
your car and a lot kilometres in rally to match with them.

Now there is a new winner in WRC rally. Ogier is a really strong rally
driver and deserved his first victory after coming so close already in
New Zealand. Obviously, I remember well how nice feeling I’ve got after
winning my first Formula One Grand Prix in Malaysia back in 2003. It’s
always a special thing for a racing driver.

Now we head for the Lanterna Rally in Italy. We got an opportunity to
have some training on tarmac before the next WRC rally in Bulgaria in

After that I will keenly watch the football world cup and some other
sports, while we have some weeks to chill out.