My aim was to drive for the position between 1 – 4 and to get a good start of the season but things started to go wrong already a week before the race. I was in a traffic accident during the tests when a car coming towards me hit me heavily. I was able to yield so much that our cars only hit sideways. Luckily there were no casualties although the cars were badly wrecked. The start of the rally was a dream-come-true when I started the race in heavy rain with so called snow tyres without studs while the other drivers used tyres meant for driving on tarmac. I was the fastest on stage 1 beating the second, Urmo Aava, by 17 seconds. On stage 2 everything went wrong when the car hit a puddle, started to slide and I had to straighten it. There was a corner and the car went too much in hitting a rock which broke the left front tyre and suspension. I finished the stage with an empty tyre but on the finish line the left front suspension broke totally. Miikka and I tried to fix it all we could but we were unable to get it strong enough so we had to retire. We were so very disappointed but that’s the name of the game! Due to SupeRally we could continue the race on Saturday and Sunday getting more experience and feeling of driving on tarmac. The conditions were very difficult because of heavy rain on Saturday but Sunday was drier. My stage times varied because I tried to drive without any unnecessary risks but I got a few good times, too, which made me feel happy. We finished the rally 14 th and got two manufacturer points.
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