Hänninen hopes for hattrick in FIN

Hänninen hopes for hattrick in FINFrom Skoda Press [ 24/07/2011 ].
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Taking place in the surroundings of Jyväskylä, Finland over the last weekend of July, the Thousand Lakes Rally, the fifth SWRC event of this season, promises great excitement. The current SWRC leaders Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula have won this rally twice in the past, and now they are out on a mission to complete a hattrick. The main task of the other crew of the Red Bull ŠKODA team to appear in Finland is to gain experience.

Having won the recent rally in Greece, Hänninen & Markkula in a Fabia Super 2000 are one of the top favourites for winning the Finland Rally, too. Juho comments: ”We have already won twice here, so it's pretty obvious that we want to complete a hattrick, but we also need some more points for the championship. The competition is tough, but we are prepared to put in the best possible performance, also because many of our friends and our families, too, are going to come and keep their fingers crossed for us. I am looking forward a great deal to this rally - it includes fast stretches, many jumps and a lot of driving on forest roads.”

The team's other crew, Gassner & Wüstenhagen, are a bit less ambitious. The 2009 German Rally Champion will have to cope with a flood of new impressions: “I am looking forward very much to the Finland Rally, the tracks there are some of the best in the rally calendar. Obviously, our ambition is to get to the finish and gain some experience, but we also want to show that we are fast!”

Head of the team Raimund Baumschlager adds: “Juho is certainly one of the top favourites for winning his “home” rally, but I am sure he will cope with all the pressure. Hermann needs to gain some more experience to develop his great potential”.

The Finland Rally is taking place for the 50th time this year, and has been part of the FIA world championship calendar for 30 years. The event is typical of high speeds, a large number of jumps, as well as numerous parts of the track going through deep forests and along beautiful lakes.