Podium for Valimaki on Exide Rally

Hyundai's Finnish youngster Jussi Valimaki put in an excellent drive on Finland's Exide Rally to claim third position on the podium on only his third outing in the Hyundai Accent WRC".

Based out of Jussi's home town Tampere, Exide Rally is a round of the Finnish Rally Championship and is often used as a shakedown for the more technically challenging Neste Rally Finland, the World Rally Championship event that will take place in late August, and as a result features a high calibre of competitors.

Jussi and co-driver Tero Gardemeister set good stage times, including a stage win on SS6, to secure and hold onto second position on the one-day event but were forced to relinquish their place to the Ford of Janne Tuohino on the final stage by only two seconds.

The Finnish pair completed a three-day test prior to the rally and were clearly able to put their hard work to good use. "The testing went really well for us," commented Jussi. "We concentrated on suspension settings to start with as Finland is really quite specialised and the car felt very good so I felt quite confident when we started the rally. I enjoyed it a lot as the competition between us and Tuohino was very tight and even though he managed to pass us on the last stage, the car was perfect and I was very happy with my speed. It would be great if the car felt the same on Rally Finland next month."

Peugeot 206 driver Sebastien Lindholm achieved a hat-trick of Exide victories as he took top honours once again.