Pontus Tidemand has already shown great progression over the last year and has given impressively strong performances at the three WRC 2 events that he has participated in so far this season. He is currently fourth in the overall WRC 2 classification and is fit for fight at this weekend’s Rally Finland.
Rally Finland is often called the Grand Prix on gravel and nine out of the ten fastest WRC events have taken place here – through forests, alongside lakes and over the big jumps that characterizes the rally. Unlike the WRC series other speedy event, Rally Poland with its flowing and rhythmic stages, the famous Finnish rally roads also offer technical sections with narrowing roads and blind crests that hides corners where flawless pacenotes and high concentration is a must for driver as well as co-driver. But despite the challenges along the way, flat out is the only way to go in Finland.
“We are extremely excited for this weekend” said SKODA driver Pontus. “The last two rallies that we have done in Lithuania and Poland has been all about speed. We have had a good pace and feel that the pieces are in place for us to be able to do really well. We are chasing important points and are ready to battle for them.”
So far during the 2016 season, Pontus and his experienced co-driver Jonas Andersson have a second place from Rally Sweden, a victory from Rally Portugal and a seventh place from Rally Poland, where they were in the lead when they got technical problems. This means that they have scored points in every WRC 2 event that they have done and is in fourth place overall, only 10 points behind third place. Rally Finland is a chance to get revenge for missing out on the podium in Poland and a great opportunity to advance in the championship standings – even though it will not be easy.
“The Finnish WRC rally is an event that many wants to win, perhaps mainly Finnish drivers like Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen that are incredibly skilled on these kinds of roads. It will be a tough fight already from start and we will do our best to be in it. It is difficult to make a plan in advance, but as soon as it all kicks off, you quickly see where you are in comparison to your competitors and how you need to tackle the rally to increase your chances” said Pontus.
Rally Finland takes place between Thursday and Sunday and the university town of Jyväskylä once again gets visitors from all over the world who wants to experience the famous rally up close. The biggest crowd of spectators is as usual expected at the legendary stage Ouninpohja, which runs twice on Saturday. The event covers 334 kilometers, divided into 24 special stages in a unique mix of shorter and longer stages where as much as 43% is new compared to previous years.