Official Press Release Makinen Looks for Home Advantage
Tommi Makinen is looking to increase his lead in the FIA World Rally Championship by making it a hat trick of wins on his home event, the Neste 1000 Lakes Rally on August 23-26. He will be closely pursued by Carlos Sainz, who needs to keep the Finn within striking distance to be able to benefit from his expenced advantage on the Southern European events, which round off the series.
Colin McRae will want to push hard the points leaders to stand any chance of retaining his title.
Mitsubishi have nominated an all-Finnish squad to support works driver Makinen in their bid for manufacturers' points. Test driver Lasse Lampi will take the wheel of group A Lancer, while Jouko Puhakka tackles the event in his usual Group N version.
Subaru send their usual line-up to Finland, with McRae joined by Kenneth Eriksson and Piero Liatti.
Ford's only nominated drivers are works men Sainz and Bruno Thiry nut a lot of interest will focus on the debuts of local rising stars Jarmo Kytolehto and Harri Rovanpera in similar cars.
Juha Kankkunen leads a trio of competitive Toyotas, entered by a Finnish team. and is joined by Thomas Raadstrom and Marcus Gronholm.
Several visiting privateers in competitive Group A cars add spice to the action, including Rui Madeira and Andrea Dallavilla in Toyotas plus Andrea Navarra, Angelo Medeghini and Masao Kamioka in Subarus.
Group N should see Jouko Puhakka's Mitsubishi challenged by the similar cars of Jorge Recalde, Gustavo Trelles, Uwe Nittel and Olli Harkki. -- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= = Petri Karonen Email: email@example.com = = World Rally Championship Infosystem: http://www.jyu.fi/~pakar/ = =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=