DECEMBER 17, 2002
Hakkinen to go rallying
Mika Hakkinen is to take part in the Arctic Lapland Rally (or as the Finns call it the Tunturi-ralli), a round of the European Rally Championship, from January 24-26 at the wheel of a privately-entered Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 rally car, prepared by the Ralliart team. The 1998 and 1999 World Champion says that this is not the start of a second career in motorsport but just some fun to keep him amused not that he has retired from the sport. It is expected that he will be joined in the event by his former manager Keke Rosberg and by JJ Lehto, the three best-known racing names in Finnish racing making up Kim Hanslin's Dream Team.
The rally takes place in the Rovaniemi-Kemijarvi region of Lapland and the competitors have to deal with ice, snow, freezing fog and almost no daylight - not to mention temperatures 20-degrees below freezing. But if they are fortunate they may also be lucky and see the Aurora Borealis as well.
"Finland is not only my home country, but also the home of rallying," said Mika. "I'm deeply impressed by the performances of my fellow Finns and their colleagues in the WRC. Their mastering of all kind of road conditions at amazing speeds, including ice or snow, is really fascinating. I always wanted to give it a try and I'm sure the comparison between two top disciplines as WRC and Formula One will prove interesting for the spectators as well."
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