Raikkonen readies himself for WRC challenge 30 Jul 2009
With a four-week break between Grands Prix, Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen would be forgiven for taking a well-deserved holiday. But Raikkonen clearly cant resist the pull of racing, and instead of jetting off on a relaxing vacation, is preparing to make his World Rally Championship debut in front of his home crowd in Finland this weekend.
Having already competed in three non-championship events, including Januarys Arctic Lapland rally, Raikkonen isnt a complete newcomer to the sport, although it will be his first outing on gravel. He will be partnered by fellow Finn Kaj Lindstrom, previously co-driver for four-time WRC champion Tommi Makinen, and the Ferrari driver is keen to get started.
I cant wait to race at the Finland Rally, although Im only going there to have fun, he said. We had some very good tests with my Fiat Grande Punto Abarth S2000 and were ready for racing. Ive got a lot of experience in Formula One but not in rally driving, although I know a bit about what its about. Getting used to a new track in Formula One is quite easy, but in a rally the stages always change.
The opening stage takes place on Thursday evening, before the competition really gets underway on Friday morning. Other competitors at the event will include 2008 winner Sebastien Loeb and current championship leader Mikko Hirvonen.