In preparation for August's Finland Rally, the 555 Subaru World Rally Team completed a four-day test near the town of Jyvaskyla this week. Regular team drivers Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg notched up a total of 893kms between them at the wheel...
In preparation for August's Finland Rally, the 555 Subaru World Rally Team completed a four-day test near the town of Jyvaskyla this week. Regular team drivers Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg notched up a total of 893kms between them at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC2002 test car.
Tommi Makinen drove for the first three days on three separate test roads. On the first day the team used a fast, smooth stage with big jumps before moving to a more twisty, sandy surfaced road for the second day. The third road provided a mixture of smooth high-speed sections and twisty corners. Tommi concentrated on transmission, damper and differential set-ups and also tested new tyre constructions from team partner Pirelli.
Petter Solberg took over driving duties for the final day of the test and moved to another contrasting road that featured a narrow, sandy base with slight corners and small jumps. The Norwegian worked on brake settings as well as evaluating damper, differential and transmission set-ups. Petter also tested a variety of tyre constructions designed to suit the changeable Finnish weather conditions.
Tommi and Petter will be back in Finland for another pre-event test just before the reconnaissance starts on 5th August. Between now and then, the teams' attention will turn to the next event, the challenging Safari Rally of Kenya, which begins in two weeks time. Building on two days of rough-road testing in May, the team will begin a four-day pre-event test in Kenya next Monday.
Tommi Makinen: "This has been the best test I have done at Subaru so far. Everything went so well on every day. We were able to do a lot of tyre testing and the new constructions bring another improvement in performance - Pirelli are very happy with the developments. We have made a big step forward with the transmission and also made some small improvements to the engine. We are ready for the event now and have very little work to do on the pre-event test."
Petter Solberg: "We have some small things to finalise before the event but overall it was a very good test and we did not have one single problem. Tommi did a lot of work on the first few days and we did not change too many things. We made a lot of small improvements and are continuing to work hard to get the car to the limit."
Weather: Days 1/2 - Fair with light showers, temperatures 16-26°C, Day 3/4 - Overcast, light rain becoming heavy later, temperature 14-21°C Drivers: Tommi Makinen, Petter Solberg