WRC

SWRC: Rally Finland: Red Bull preview

Sandell gears up for flying Rally Finland Super 2000 World Rally Championship frontrunner Patrik Sandell, driving a Skoda Fabia S2000 backed by Red Bull, is looking forward to the Rally Finland this weekend: the fastest and most spectacular...

Sandell gears up for flying Rally Finland

Super 2000 World Rally Championship frontrunner Patrik Sandell, driving a Skoda Fabia S2000 backed by Red Bull, is looking forward to the Rally Finland this weekend: the fastest and most spectacular event of them all.

The cars fly for nearly a hundred metres over the rollercoaster crests that characterise the all-gravel event, which takes place around the university city of Jyvaskyla in central Finland. Accurate pace notes are vital, as the speeds are so high that even a small mistake can have serious consequences.

Finland will be the Swede's fourth event of the year, and it is one of the rallies that he is looking forward to most. Sandell is targeting victory, although the competition in Finland could well be tougher than it has ever been before.

"It's a massive challenge, but I really love Finland," said the 27-year-old. "It's one of the most exciting events of the year, and I've always had a really good feeling with it. There are many good drivers in top cars there, but I feel confident that if we have a good run we are capable of being on the podium or winning. It's really like a second home event for me! You have to believe in yourself, so we're heading to Finland determined to get the job done."

Sandell has not driven on a World Championship rally since New Zealand in May, but he has been keeping busy over the summer. As well as the Super 2000 World Rally Championship, the Swede has also been doing some rallies in China - and these have kept him match fit, along with an intensive programme of physical training. Currently, he lies sixth in the Super 2000 World Rally Champ

Sandell is not planning on a test before the rally so the first time that he will drive the Skoda in Finland will be at the shakedown on Thursday morning.

As usual, Sandell's car will be run by the respected BRR team headed up by multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager: who drives a Skoda Fabia S2000 himself back at home in Austria. Last weekend, the Austrian claimed another rally victory to seal his eighth consecutive title!

"I think Finland should be an event that suits Patrik well," said Baumschlager. "Of course it is one of the most challenging rallies that we will find on the calendar this year, but it's really enjoyable for everyone. One of the big challenges for Patrik will be from his team mate, so we are aiming for a very good team result for ourselves and Red Bull as well!"

The BRR team is also running local man Juho Hanninen on the Rally Finland, backed by Red Bull. Hanninen is a Skoda factory driver who currently leads the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Last year, he won Group N in Finland and finished 10th overall at the wheel of a Skoda after a dominant performance.

"It's a great opportunity for me and I'd like to thank Red Bull for making this happen," he said. "I won the class last year so of course this has to be the target again. But its not going to be easy: I think the fight will be even tougher this year."

Unusually for a World Rally Championship event, the Rally Finland will get underway on Thursday morning and finish on Saturday evening after 19 stages totalling 310 competitive kilometres.

-source: red bull

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Juho Hanninen , Raimund Baumschlager , Patrik Sandell