Kimi Raikkonen Erzberg Rodeo showdown report

Kimi takes on Taddy at the Erzberg Rodeo showdown Red Bull driver Kimi Raikkonen faced a brand new different challenge today, when he took on multiple trial bike champion Taddy Blazusiak at a breathtaking head-to-head race in Austria. After a...

Kimi takes on Taddy at the Erzberg Rodeo showdown

Red Bull driver Kimi Raikkonen faced a brand new different challenge today, when he took on multiple trial bike champion Taddy Blazusiak at a breathtaking head-to-head race in Austria.

After a hugely successful Formula One career, in which Kimi claimed the 2007 world title and 18 Grand Prix wins, the Finn is competing on the World Rally Championship for the first time this year. But on one of his rare weekends off, Kimi took part in a spectacular motorsport duel against another well-known Red Bull athlete.

Driving his usual Citroen C4 WRC, Kimi faced a rocky and twisty 13-kilometre stage at the Erzberg Rodeo, carved out of a spectacular mountainside quarry. His objective was to beat Polish enduro rider Taddy: who has made this territory his own by winning the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the highlight of the Erzberg Rodeo, for the past three years.

On the face of it the machines could not be more different. Kimi's Citroen C4 World Rally Car weighs 1230 kilograms, puts out around 300 horsepower and accelerates from 0-100 kilometres per hour in just over four seconds. The KTM trials bike ridden by Taddy weighs just 122 kilograms, has 71 horsepower and takes a bit longer to pick up speed.

However, the agility of the KTM bike - as well as Taddy's unparalleled knowledge of the dramatic course - made it a very close encounter. The stage was extremely rough and bumpy: a bit like the legendary Safari Rally in places. After a tight and twisty start, the road opened up and became quicker: handing the advantage to the rally car at the finish. In the end, Kimi beat Taddy by just over 25 seconds, watched by more than 30,000 people.

As part of the forfeit that had been agreed beforehand, Taddy was then faced with the task of washing Kimi's car at the finish. "Really, it was all about the fun today," said Taddy, who now moves onto the serious business of trying to win the Red Bull Hare Scramble for the fourth consecutive time on Sunday. "It was a real privilege for me to compete against Kimi and I hope that we put on a good show. I tried my hardest, but in the end it wasn't quite enough, so now I just have to congratulate Kimi. And wash his car too!"

Kimi concluded: "It's the first time that I've ever done anything like this and I really enjoyed myself. It was a very close contest and in the end I think our better top speed in the rally car is what helped us. In the slow parts, it was much more evenly matched. I like bikes a lot, so it was great to meet Taddy and chat with him. Now I have some time free in Austria, so I am going to come back and watch the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Sunday to wish Taddy luck. It's really exciting to watch."

-source: red bull

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , WRC
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Taddy Blazusiak
Teams Citroën World Rally Team