Tuuri Rally (Finnish Championships rally) 2024, 08.-09.03.2024 – result: DNF

The previous time when a race of this magnitude was driven in Tuuri was in 2001. It was called the Million Rally and all the Finnish top drivers of that time were there. I was not old enough to participate back then and because of my WRC calendar I was unable to drive in the other Tuuri area rallies over the years. Now I had a chance to drive in this homerally of mine. Being able to drive on my home roads made me eager and excited – enough!

At first everything went smoothly except for some difficulties in the dark because we lacked light power a bit and there may be some agesight involved. The daylight stages were much easier and went much better. My co-driver Enni Mälkönen and I were sixth overall after stage five. There were seven stages altogether. Stage six was driven on my Mom’s home road and stage seven on Dad’s. 

Stage six was quite long, 28 kilometers. My excitement level was extremely high because it was important to succeed right there. Everything started nicely until while driving on the test road of my youth on a right hand corner I turned in too early. The front wheel hit the icy bank which immediately rolled the car upside down. Nothing was to be done. The stage had to be interrupted and we had to wait for the other drivers to come and help turn the car on its wheels and push it aside. That was it for us but the others were able to continue the race. It was annoying and frustrating but maybe next year there will be another chance to drive and get rid of the albatross around my neck.


Arctic Lapland Rally 2024, 02.-03.02.2024 – result: General: 20. Class: 2.

I was really excited to have the opportunity to compete in Rovaniemi with my Toyota Celica ST185 (year 1992, category A). The car was the same one I drove at this rally in 2022. Today thisToyota Celica could be called version 2.0 because the car has been updated in many ways. Now it corresponds to a car Carlos Sainz won the Title in 1992. The car has almost 400 hp but it does not have the same aerodynamics and suspension travels as the rally cars of today but it is fun to drive.

We were able to cross the finish line in the race but there were some issues along the way. Aittajärvi 2 was the first stage on Saturday morning. Unfortunately our 4th gear in the gearbox broke down. I was forced to drive in 3rd gear and then change directly to 5th gear but we managed to get to the service. 

In the service the cluster had to be changed which led to a complication and thus more working minutes were needed. Finally the parts had been changed but our service time had gone 14 minutes over the limit and we were punished by a seven-minute-overtime penalty. We were in ninth position overall but due to our time penalty we dropped to position 20. Mikko Heikkilä won the rally with a brand new Toyota Gr Yaris Rally 2 car. 


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