Great result for Red Bull Rally drivers on Rally Finland
Rally Finland - Day two
The second and final day of Rally Finland has concluded with a great result for the Red Bull Skoda drivers: Juho Hanninen, enjoying a one-off outing on his home event, has won while regular driver Patrik Sandell is third.
Both cars are run by the respected Baumschlager Rallye Racing team, headed up by 10-time Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager.
Hanninen, who normally drives for the Skoda factory team on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, led from halfway through the opening day to maintain his impressive advantage to the end.
Sandell, who is backed by Red Bull for the entire Super 2000 World Rally Championship this year, was also amongst the frontrunners from the very beginning. He finished the opening day fourth overall and made up another place today to claim a well-deserved podium. Despite breaking a brake hose yesterday afternoon, he won two stages today to climb back to third on what he considers to be a second home event.
“I really enjoyed the battle I had with my fellow Swede P-G Andersson today in another Skoda: it’s been a great fight,” said Sandell. “Without the problem we had with the brake hose yesterday I’m sure that we could have had second, but it’s always good to finish on the podium so I can’t complain. We came here on a mission to get some decent points for the championship, and we have succeeded in doing that. With the Rally Finland taking place over just two days this year it’s been non-stop action from start to finish. For any driver, it’s massive adrenaline rush!”
Hanninen, who won the Super 2000 category with 10th overall last year, improved on that benchmark today to claim ninth overall at the finish, two places ahead of Sandell in 11th. The Finn won the class by over a minute, despite playing it safe on the final day to protect his clear advantage.
“There was no point in pushing today,” he said. “We were conservative with both our driving and the set-up: we raised the car a bit in order to make sure that we did not have too many impacts with rocks for example. The rest of the time I was just driving in the middle of the road: safely, but not too safely - as then it is easy to make mistakes. I’d really like to thank Red Bull for this opportunity and I feel so happy to have made the most of it.”
The final day of the rally took in eight long stages, totalling 162 competitive kilometres. Following the hot conditions of yesterday, temperatures today were much cooler after some overnight rain that dampened down the stages and offered a bit more grip.
Team principal Raimund Baumschlager concluded: “We’re very happy with this result: it’s hard to ask for much more than two cars on the podium! It’s clear that Juho has enjoyed competing on his home rally in our car, and it’s a great achievement that once again he is in the top 10 overall here. Patrik too has done a fantastic job: he did not give up once and fought his way to an extremely well-deserved result. I’d like to congratulate both of our drivers: to finish in the top three on such a fast and famous rally just goes to show their levels of skill, bravery and commitment.”
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