Rally Review, October 1970

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Rally of the Thousand Lakes
General Classification
1st:H. Mikkola/G. Palm (Escort TC) …………………….. 16,612

2nd:T. Makinen/H. Liddon (Escort TC) …………………. 16,798

3rd:S. Lampinen/J. Davenport (Fulvia HF) …………….. 18,802

4th:H. Majander/J. Ahava (Volvo 142) ………………….. 17,228

5th:E. Soutulahti/P. Keskitalo (Volvo 142) ……………… 17,247

6th:J. Lusenius/S. Halme (R8 Gordini) ………………….. 17,545

7th:P. Karha/T. Alanen (Isuzu 1600) ……………………… 17,711

8th:V. Paakkonen/M. Tiukkanen (Imp) …………………… 17,749

9th:H. Valtaharju/L. Paalama (Kadett) ……………………. 18,001

10th:E. Nuuttila/E. Nuuttila (Kadett) ………………………. 18,174

Team prize:

Opel (Valtaharju, Nuuttila, Halonen)

93 starters – 47 finishers

I ONCE heard the Rally of the Thousand Lakes described as a British club rally in another country with a whole field full of drivers with tongue-twisting names.

That is a most unfair description, for nowhere in the World is there an event which tests the car controlling skill—and bravery—of drivers quite like Finland’s premier event does. Finnish roads are so undulating that blind brows and crests as violent as pyramids are as common as the lakes and trees.

Road surfaces are generally smooth but loose, with a top dressing of sand sprayed with a sealing compound. It would therefore appear that the rally, which uses special stages on closed forest roads just as the RAC Rally does, is not particularly hard on motor cars. This is not the case, for those crests are so frequent and violent that cars spend a great deal of time in the air. Whilst airborne, there is the tendency to over-rev the engines and everyone knows the danger of that practice. What is more, landings send such shocks through suspensions and bodyshells that there is more pounding than on an event many times as rough.

The Thousand Lakes is the only event in Finland which permits practice beforehand. But legislation guards against public annoyance by creating a 50 k.p.h. speed limit on all roads to be used as special stages from the time the route is announced to the time of the rally. Naturally, the restriction is lifted once the rally starts !

The technique of driving sideways on the loose roads has been mastered by the Finns. It is indeed an experience to watch a car leaping into the air from the apex of a crest, and at the same time turning slowly sideways in order that it may be set up properly for the bend which follows. There are skills involved in such high-speed driving over natural obstacles that no mere racing circuit practitioner would ever dream of. The people of Finland realise this and turn out in hundreds of thousands, no matter what the weather, to watch in the forests. Rarely are they unrewarded.

The inherent skill of the Finns is one of the reasons for the absence of a truly international character. Drivers from many European countries have matched themselves against the locals at various times during the 20 years the event has been running, but only twice during that time have the Finns failed to produce the winner—and even on those occasions the winners were from neighbouring Sweden where the talent is equally high.

This year, factory-entered cars were only three in number, two British Escorts for Mikkola and Makinen and a Lancia Fulvia for Lampinen—all three Finnish. But their respective co-drivers were Palm, Liddon and Davenport, a Swede and two Englishmen. For the two Englishmen, at least, it was their first experience of the Thousand Lakes. In past years Finnish drivers had to use co-drivers from their own country or they would not qualify for points in the Finnish Rally Championship. That regulation has now been amended, which gave each of the three works drivers the chance to take their regular partners. Both Liddon and Davenport are very experienced professional co-drivers, and it takes a lot to impress them. It was therefore interesting to witness their unconcealed enthusiasm for the event when it was over. Both were full of praise and it was obvious that they had enjoyed every moment of it.

There were teams of works Trabants and Wartburgs, of course, as there always are on the Thousand Lakes, but not the customary quartet from the Moskvitch factory. It seems that the team’s prepared cars were fitted with the new twin-cam engines, and they were nowhere near homologated. Rather than change engines, the team decided to give the event a miss. In addition to the actual works cars there were teams of Opels, Renaults, Hondas, Isuzus, Volvos, Imps and various others all entered and supported by enthusiastic Finnish concessionaires in much the same way as factory teams operate.

Unlike 1968, when Castrol made the memorable film called “Flying Finns”, the weather was fine and there was none of the sandy mud which spreads itself as a film over the roads. Instead there were loose surfaces and dust, the former being ideal for the techniques of driving sideways and jumping over sharp crests.

All three works cars had their minor problems, but they all finished, Mikkola gaining his third successive outright win on his country’s prem!er event. Lampinen spent much of the time in second place, but dropped to third before the end when a determined effort by Makinen coincided with some front suspension trouble on the Lancia.

Heavy landings after jumping have caused more retirements in the Thousand Lakes than any other factor, and it was undoubtedly a recommendation by Mikkola and Makinen which kept the two Escorts going to the finish. To prevent excessive engine movement, they suggested fitting suspension bump-stops in front of the block. Furthermore, they also asked for reinforcing on the sumpguards. This took the form of cross-members across the back of the guards, but not bolted to the car’s frame so as not to offend the Group 2 regulations.

These were wise measures, for engine movement has been the cause of many Escort problems in the past, not only with fan entering the radiator, but with sump coming into contact with steering rack.

It is unfortunate that as a result of a good selection of events and rules for the International Constructors’ Championship, and a complex jumble for the Drivers’ Championship, the latter series has degenerated into a sort of poor relation. Since the Thousand Lakes is a Drivers’ qualifier, it has suffered a sort of rubbing off, and the sooner the CSI introduces its expected amendments to the various championship rules the sooner the Drivers’ series will be restored to its proper status and the sooner events such as the Thousand Lakes will get the support they so richly deserve.

* * *

As we go to press, we hear that the number of works teams taking part in November’s RAC Rally might be further supplemented. It is certain that there will be cars from Ford, Alpine-Renault, Lancia, Porsche, Saab, Datsun and Skoda. There is also strong talk that Volvo will soon be making a return to the sport—although perhaps not in time for this particular rally—and there will also be a team from the Wartburg factory.

Furthermore, interest is also being shown by Porsche Salzburg, and that could very well materialise into a team of three Porsche 914/6s. An enquiry has also been received from none other than the Fiat factory, and not on behalf of Lancia either. Fiat has been making under-the-counter excursions into the sport for some time, and it would be very nice if the RAC Rally saw the company bring their competitions activities right out into the open.—G. P.

Related articles

Related products