Friday, October 22, 2010


The Rally de Espana is well-known for being a compact event of the World Rally Championship, based on stages around the Port Aventura theme park in Salou

But this year, the rally will be particularly short for former Grand Prix Champion and Red Bull driver Kimi Räikkönen. The flying Finn went flying a bit too early in proceedings, and damaged his car in the shakedown to the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship. The impact wasn't a huge one, but it damaged his Citroen C4 WRC's roll cage too badly for him to continue.

This year's Rally de Espana is being run for the first time on both gravel and asphalt surfaces, and the shakedown stage contained a bit of both. Kimi completed one run successfully, but clipped a bank on a left-hand corner halfway through the second run, just after the gravel finished and the asphalt began. The impact tipped his car over, and it rolled. The roll cage just above co-driver Kaj Lindstrom's seat was damaged, which meant that for safety reasons Kimi's car was not able to start the rally.

"It was just one of those stupid things that happens sometimes: I just touched the bank and the car rolled," said the Iceman. "It's the sort of thing that if you're lucky you get away with it, but on this occasion there was something that damaged the roll cage on Kaj's side of the car. We can't restart so that's the end of that. It's a pity as I think it was a rally that might have suited us but now we'll never know. I'm obviously disappointed, but I've been around motorsport for long enough to know that disappointments are part of the game sometimes; it's how you deal with them that matters. Now I'm just looking forward to our next event and I'm going to concentrate on the future. That's always more interesting than the past."

The Rally de Espana has often been described as the closest that the World Rally Championship comes to circuit racing, but Kimi will be watching it on television this year as he is now heading straight home to Switzerland.

Kaj Lindstrom is also resigned to being a spectator, but he is always able to look on the bright side of any situation. "It's a pity, but this doesn't really change anything for us," Kaj said. "I've never had a rally finish this soon before, although I've had some pretty short tests with some other drivers! You have to expect anything and learn from everything in this sport, so myself and Kimi have already put what happened behind us. I know Kimi and this will just make him more determined. We're going to go away now, but we'll come back strongly for Rally Great Britain: I'm absolutely sure of this."

Source: RedBullRallye

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