Makinen looks for next rally win

Tommi Makinen is hoping to maintain his rich vein of form at next week's Swedish Rally

Makinen looks for next rally win

The Mitsubishi driver, who scored a crushing victory in last month's Rally of Monte Carlo, is looking to maintain his lead at the top of the championship table as he bids for his fifth world crown.

The Swedish Rally is the only round of the World Rally Championship on which snow and ice are virtually guaranteed.

The conditions are ideally suited to Scandinavian drivers, and it is the one major rally that has never been won by a non-Nordic driver.

Makinen has already won the event three times and is hopeful of success in 2000.

He said: "We have had an excellent start to the season and we did some very good testing for Sweden.

"It's hard work of course, but the car has always been competitive in these conditions and, for a Finn, it is always good to have a chance of beating the Swedes."

Mitsubishi team-mate Freddy Loix has less experience of the Swedish event than Makinen, having taken part for the first time last year.

"This is one of the most difficult rallies for me this year, but I have done quite a lot of testing and the car is very nice to drive," said the Belgian.

"In any case, it is fun to drive on snow and I will be very happy if we can score points again."

The rally runs from February 10-13 and covers 1,729 kilometres, with 20 stages covering 399 kilometres.

All three legs will start and finish in the host town, Karlstad, but many of the stages will be well to the north-east, near Falun and Borlange.

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