Thank you Kimi Räikkönen

Thank you Kimi RäikkönenFrom Citroen Press [ 21/08/2010 ].
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The word 'Panzerplatte' in German literally means 'tank plating', which is appropriate enough as this epic 48-kilometre stage used twice today was where the German army used to test their tanks.

A Panzer Tank was not a machine to be messed with. More than 8,800 of them were produced: many of them put through their paces in the Baumholder military complex, which hosted day two of the Rallye Deutschland. Interestingly, the Panzer Tank had more or less identical horsepower to Kimi Raikkonen's Citroen C4 World Rally Car: around 300bhp. However, there is a slight weight difference: Kimi's car weighs just over 1230 kilograms whereas the Panzer Tank weighs just over 25,000 kilograms.

This translates into something of a performance gap. On the Panzerplatte stage, Kimi's rally car reached speeds in the region of 200 kph. The Panzer Tank peaked at 39 kph. It also took half a minute to get there, as opposed to the handful of seconds that power Kimi's weapon to its top speed.

The only real advantage that the Panzer Tank has is a very large gun, but even without heavy weaponry Kimi had a real blast in Baumholder.

The 2007 Formula One World Champion once more steered clear of major mistakes all day and so he enters the closing stages of the Rallye Deutschland tomorrow in sixth overall, on only his second-ever asphalt World Championship rally. Today's action was probably the hardest of the entire rally, but 'The Iceman' still set times that were mostly in the top eight all day, continuing his great progress with a sixth-fastest time on the final run through Panzerplatte.

"It's been really good today: we've just concentrated on learning and made no big mistakes so that we can take the maximum amount of experience away from this event," said Kimi, backed by Red Bull on this year's World Rally Championship. "That's what I need most really. In the morning the car was too soft, also because we had a problem with the anti-roll bar, but in the afternoon it felt really good and we were able to increase our speed without taking any extra risks, which was the important thing. I felt that we really learned a lot today, so I'm pleased. If we can continue like this tomorrow and score some points, then we will have achieved our objectives on this rally. Maybe tomorrow the roads will be a little easier, but once more they will be nothing like the stages we had today. Each day we are finding out something new, but this is why we are here."

Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom is a master strategist, and he has set the objective of maintaining sixth place tomorrow. It's by no means an easy task, as the next man is less than 20 seconds down the road. But 'Kajto' - as he is known to his many friends - thinks that they can do it.

"It's going to be a nice challenge for us, whatever happens," he said. "But our priority is obviously for us to finish the rally; especially now that we have had such a good run so far. The pace notes today have been more or less perfect: you can feel the improvement all the time and that's very encouraging. We're both feeling quite confident heading into tomorrow: the speed and consistency is really coming now, and you can see that in the stage times."