Q & A: Kankkunen on his return

Four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen has returned to the World Rally Championship for this week's Rally Finland

Q & A: Kankkunen on his return

The Stobart Ford World Rally Team driver told AUTOSPORT about his return.

Q. What's the target on this rally?

Juha Kankkunen: There is no target, really. I just want to find the right speed with the car. The car is good, a really good car.

Q. How different is the car from the last time you drove?

JK: It's very different. You know the engine is nothing special for me. Nothing special, really. The power is just normal in these cars for me, I was used to double horsepower from cars like the Peugeot 205. Okay, this car goes, but I have driven much more powerful cars than this.

The biggest difference for me is the slow-corner speed and the suspension over the jumps. I am used to driving a stiffer car than this. Before we would land with a bang, but now the suspension takes everything, it's very nice. The car rolls more than I thought it would, it feels soft, but if you go stiffer then you lose the grip.

Q. How much testing did you do before the event?

JK: I did one day and then another day following Mikko [Hirvonen]'s test. This was a good way to learn what to do, what happens if you change something. I took the car in Mikko's set-up, I didn't try to do any changes at all, there's no point - you can't build Rome in one day. I did some driving in a Group N car last week, just to see the Finland roads again and to get the car sliding and to get the feeling again.

Q. Did you get many kilometres in the day?

JK: I did about 70. I was supposed to do 150, but the test car broke so I couldn't do more than that. Anyway, it's something at least.

Q. When did you decide to do this event?

JK: Last year I was supposed to do this event, but then we couldn't get everything together, we couldn't get the quick car, so we decided to put it back until this year and here we are. We did the recce last year, so we had some notes, but then the financial thing came. I didn't want to put my own money to it last year, which is why we waited until this year.

Q. What do you think of the Pirelli control tyre - that's quite a different situation from when you last drove?

JK: What can you say? It's the best because everybody has to use it. It's not so difficult to get used to the tyre. You have to be more careful in braking and things like that. But tyre wear is no problem, it's very fast here.

Q. Are there any of your favourite stages in the route?

JK: They are all good stages. Myhinpaa is one of the old ones, this is the first time I did this rally since 1979 without going to Ouninpohja stage, that's a bit sad. What is the best stage? But, for my favourite stage, I would have to say it's the last one. I don't know what it is, but if I can do that one then it's going to be perfect!

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