I was supposed to work as a team player and help my team mate Mikko Hirvonen in his battle for the title in this home rally of mine. The race started with events in Poland on my mind which affected the first stages of Friday: I stood too much on the brake and my driving was cautious. On Friday we drove Mokkipera stage twice and in 2007 and 2008 this stage was my nightmare but this year I was able to drive it through sensibly with no mistakes. On Friday evening I realized what driving this rally was all about and I ended the day being fourth ten seconds behind Dani Sordo. Mikko Hirvonen was leading the race and Sebastien Loeb was second. Early Saturday morning I woke up with terrible pain in my stomach and couldn’t sleep any longer. I had to start day number two in very bad shape and I wasn’t sure before Leustu, the first stage of the day, if I could drive at all. But still I decided to try and fight even though I felt like throwing up in every jump. I simply had to jump less than the others and I could battle with Sordo all the same. I felt better and better stage after stage and in the service consulting with a doctor helped the situation, too. In the afternoon on Saturday I started to feel pretty okay and when the more difficult stages started I was ready to attack. Kavala and Vaarinmaja were the last two stages of the day and I was able to drive the fastest time on both of them so I passed Sordo by ten seconds. There were a couple of events on the way though. Sordo had driven two excellent days and I knew he would try to attack on Sunday so I really needed to do my best on Sunday, avoiding mistakes of course. The day started in Hannula and then there was the legendary Myhinpaa two times. This stage had been in this rally about 15 years ago and spectators remembered it which was seen in the atmosphere and in the amount of public. The last stage of the rally was Ruuhimaki. I drove that with no mistakes and was rewarded in the finish: I was third in the race. Mikko kept Loeb behind him and won the rally. Being third in this home rally of mine was a big thing for me and even the team was very pleased with my performance.
Invalid Displayed Gallery