Max Vatanen' WRC2 debut

Max Vatanen' WRC2 debutFrom General Article [ 22/05/2017 ].
Click to read all other WRC WRC News.

Max Vatanen competed in a World Rally Championship event in a four-wheel drive car for the first time on last weekend's Rally Portugal. The son of 1981 world champion Ari Vatanen made his WRC2 debut on the classic gravel event behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5. Max gets two prize drives in WRC2 this year as a reward for his performances in the Drive DMACK Trophy in 2016, when he finished second overall in the series and scored a brilliant home win on Rally Finland.

The rough and rocky Portuguese stages provided a tough test for Max in his first appearance at this level, and his first competitive outing since Rally Catalunya last October, but he performed well on the opening day, climbing into the overall top 20 by the end of Friday.

Sadly, a leaking radiator on Saturday's first stage forced him to retire from leg two, but he returned to action on the final day to reach the finish of the rally, which came after a pass of the iconic fan-favourite Fafe stage.

Max says: "It was quite a difficult rally for us. Saturday was a pity with the radiator leak, because I did not get to do all the kilometres. It was nice to reach the finish though, and Fafe was a nice stage to finish on as it's so mythical and there were so many people there.

"We did a test beforehand and I was really feeling confident after that, but this car is another step higher and it takes time to adapt: you can push much harder, go much faster and brake later. I'm not satisfied with my driving and I need to improve for the next one, even though I don't know yet where that will be. Finland would be nice!"