The Finnish fixture never fails to excite...
There was a solid start from RK M-Sport World Rally Team’s Robert Kubica as Rally Finland got underway today. Following the event’s first four stages, the popular Pole piloted his Ford Fiesta RS WRC to a strong ninth place overall.
When you think of the FIA World Rally Championship, one event comes to mind and that is Rally Finland. Often referred to as rallying’s spiritual home, the Finnish fixture never fails to excite and for a driver there is nothing more exhilarating than powering a top-specification car through the country’s high-speed forests. That was the feeling Robert enjoyed for the first time this afternoon.
Opening his rally with a highly controlled and consistent performance, the Pole was happy with his driving. Finland’s legendary stages are quick to punish competitors for the smallest of mistakes and the Formula One race winner adapted a risk-free strategy which sees him well placed to progress as the weekend unfolds.
Experience can play a pivotal role – especially given the torrential rain and high-speed winds that battered the event’s opening speed tests. Knowing how the nature of the road can change and how that alters the handling of the car is a huge benefit and Robert overcame his inexperience with an effective blend of speed and caution.
Comfortably within the top-ten, the Pole is eager to learn more and develop his skills further over the course of the weekend.
Robert Kubica (9th): “It hasn’t been easy because of the weather and the conditions on the stages were a bit more difficult than if it were dry, but I think it has been a good day for us. We had few issues with the up-shifts but that is just the way it is.
“I’m happy with my driving and the pacenotes have been OK but the corrections that I made from the videos to slow down the notes were wrong. When you don’t feel comfortable you slow the notes in a tricky place – it’s normal when you don’t have experience of these roads. But all in all I’m very happy with today and hope that we can continue in the same way tomorrow.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE: “We’ve seen a very sensible approach from Robert [Kubica] today and he’s been very happy with his driving. This is a rally that can catch out the inexperienced so easily and he has taken the right approach which will see him gain the vital knowledge needed to excel here in the future. He was unfortunate to have a misfire on the last stage [SS4] but the team are working to rectify that in service.”
RK M-Sport World Rally Team