Alen looking forward to Czech asphalt

Alen looking forward to Czech asphaltFrom General Article [ 17/08/2007 ].
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Anton Alen has been named as Abarth´s second factory driver on the forthcoming Barum Rally Zlin in the Czech Republic - in what will only be his second-ever asphalt rally. The Rally Russia winner now faces an entirely different challenge as he gets to grip with sealed surfaces.

The young Finn has only competed on asphalt once before, on a small rally in Italy with a Group N car. "It was so long ago that I hardly remember anything about it," said Alen. "For me, this rally will be the biggest challenge of the year: driving on asphalt is almost like a different sport. But I'm looking forward to learning all about it, and of course I hope to do well."

Anton's famous father, Markku Alen, was the first Finn to succeed on classic European asphalt rallies in the 1980s so the signs are good. In order to get up to speed with asphalt driving, Alen will test the car in the Czech Republic on the Sunday and the Monday before the rally.

"For me, it's very exciting because I come into this event with no real idea of how we will get on," said Alen. "There's no pressure to get a particular result. I know that the opposition will be very strong in the Czech Republic, so I am not expecting anything. If I can get into the top 10 that would probably be a good result: the main thing is that I am here to learn."
Markku Alen commented: "I think Anton has the potential to be a very good asphalt driver, but it will certainly be a big challenge for him. I think he will enjoy it though..."

The Barum Rally Zlin gets underway on the evening of Friday 24 August with a ceremonial start and spectator superspecial.