Co-driver: Miikka Anttila

The rally in Wales was the last one of the year. I was very confident when I started the race because I had experience and knowledge of the rally and the conditions ever since 2002. Friday morning was rainy and foggy which made driving difficult. Because of the challenging conditions I couldn’t get the best out of me and the leading drivers seemed to get too far away right at the beginning. We were fourth after the three first stages almost half a minute behind number one, Mikko Hirvonen. My pace got a bit better during the afternoon but the position didn’t change. The last stage of the evening, stage 6, was driven in the dark in thick fog and in rain which had a decisive effect on the rally. Mikko Hirvonen drove really fast and increased his lead. The fog was so thick that we were forced to use the fog lights as well as ordinary lights. Unfortunately I hit a bump so hard that I broke my fog lights and with ordinary lights only I couldn’t see much. I tried to drive too fast and because of that and bad visibility I hit a bank which cost me ten seconds, but, anyhow I went on. Half way through the stage I lost my windshield wipers. Now I wasn’t able to see a thing. In order to get out of the woods I had to stop five times on the stage to wipe the windscreen. Finally we could finish the stage but our time was so bad that we decided to retire and use the super rally rule to continue the race on Saturday morning. Our time penalty was ten minutes and position now 15th. On Saturday my driving was relaxed and smooth and I did the right tire choice, too, so we drove six fastest times of the seven stages driven. Saturday night’s last service was five minutes too long and we got another time penalty, 50 seconds this time. We ended Saturday evening in the 12th position. On Sunday I drove fastest times to all the four stages but I guess the leading drivers didn’t push their best. We finished the rally tenth which wasn’t much but driving ten fastest times felt extremely good. Mikko Hirvonen drove marvelously and won the race.


Car: Ford Focus WRC -06
Service Team: Stobart