JANUARY 9, 2009
Kimi off to see Santa?
The city of Rovaniemi, the capital of the Finnish province of Lapland, claims to be Santa Claus's home town. It has an average temperature of 0-degrees and snow is on the ground for six months a year. The lowest temperature ever recorded there was in January 1999 when it got down to a brisk -47.5-deg C.
Rovaniemi is something of a tourist resort with Arctic safaris being based there, plus a skiing resort and an Arctic golf course. It is also the headquarters of the annual Arctic Lapland Rally, a round of the Finnish Rally Championship.
This year's event will have the town a-hopping as both Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen are going to competing in the big event. Raikkonen is trading in his Ferrari F1 car for a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000 which will be co-driven by Kaj Lindstrom, who used to be Tommi Makinen's navigator. Hakkinen, a regular at the event, will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The rally takes place between January 22-24. Among the other entries will be a Greek, a pair of New Zealanders, Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Estonians and even an Irishman. The majority of the field will be Finnish.
The event will be a good opportunity to watch some rally cars and see the Northern Lights, although it is recommended that fans take their longjohns and Kendall Mint Cake with them.
One can only wonder what Kimi will ask Santa for if the two celebrated gentlemen get together. A solid Ferrari contract in 2010 perhaps?