For 60 years now, the 1000 Lakes Rally – which then became the Rally Finland – has been a classic fixture for all the crews. The event is often nicknamed the ‘Jyväskylä Grand Prix’ and it has featured seven times in the top 10 fastest rallies ever held in the history of the World Rally Championship. The quickest Rally Finland took place in 2005, with an average speed of 122.86 kph recorded on the event.
For the eighth round of the season, Citroën Racing has made some adjustments to its team nominations. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia join the Citroën Total World Rally Team for the first time, while Dani Sordo and Marc Marti form part of the Citroën Junior Team as team mates to Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström. The Spanish crew will also be nominated to score points for the Citroën Junior Team in Japan and Great Britain this year.
“The objective of the Citroën Junior Team is to allow young drivers to perform to the best of their abilities at the highest level,” pointed out Team Manager Benoit Nogier. “We have seen this goal being achieved with Sébastien Ogier and we are very happy for him. His results reflect the hard work that the entire team has put in since the start of the season. We hope to be at the same level with Dani, so that he too can show what he is capable of.”
Dani Sordo, aged 27, is currently sixth in the World Championship standings and has finished on the podium twice this year, thanks to third place in Portugal and second in Bulgaria. The Spaniard looks upon his new association with the Citroën Junior Team as a fresh opportunity. “I’ll be feeling less pressure,” he said. “By switching teams, I won’t always have to drive with the fundamental need to score manufacturer points for Citroën at the back of my mind. I’m going to concentrate on just doing my own rally and delivering the best performance possible.”
For the first time in his short World Rally Championship career, Kimi Räikkönen will be starting an event that he has already contested last year. In 2009, the 2007 Formula One World Champion showed some highly impressive pace before unfortunately going off the road.
“We were able to get back up to speed on gravel thanks to a good pre-Finland test,” said Kimi. “Those testing kilometres are absolutely vital on a rally like this one. The experience from last year is certainly going to help, but there is such a performance gap between a Super 2000 machine and a World Rally Car that it’s almost like driving a different rally. I’m really looking forward to getting started. When I was in Formula One, I never got the chance to race in front of my home crowd. I know that there are going to be loads of fans out in service and by the side of the stages. For me, this is a real highlight of the season!”