Kuhmoisten Soraralli 2023, 25.02.2023 – result: Gen 1.
The race in Kuhmoinen was driven on snowy gravel roads. My regular co-driver Juho Hänninen was on holiday so he asked if Enni Mälkönen could replace him in Kuhmoinen. Normally Enni is a co-driver of Sami Pajari. This was the first time for us two to drive together. Right away on stage one, five kilometers after the start, there was a double jump and maybe I came a bit too fast to that point so I landed on the road so heavily that the top of the damper came through the bonnet. I had to drive 17 kilometers with that broken top mount which meant driving pretty carefully. Stage two was a rather short one so I thought that we could drive it through but all of a sudden the bonnet came out which confused me a bit. Luckily the bonnet hit the roof vent and flew over the roof not even breaking the windshield. For a moment I was thinking of what to do but all in all I decided to continue the race. In the service there were some locals to help us and we managed to assemble an iron plate for the damper top mount. We were able to press the damper into its normal spot but it did not absorb shocks anymore. However, I was able to increase my speed and drive faster. Of course I had to slow down whenever there were jumps or minor bumps. On stage four I thought that the nose of the car might rip apart. I had to ease my speed a bit more. Still I was able to win the overall. What an adventure! To crown it all my Dad drove into the snow after stage two finish line and our mechanics had to go and help him out of there. They managed to get Dad back to the road within the limit of the service time so no time penalty for him. In the end my Dad Jari was third overall and the fastest of his category.