Unfortunately, at the time of going to press very little is known about what happened on the Finnish Rally of the 1,000 Lakes, but at least the results make interesting reading. Last year, after the Monte Carlo Rally in which she shared an Austin Healey 3000 with Timo Makinen and they won the GT category, Christabel Carlisle accepted an offer to go to Finland and compete with Timo (in a B.M.C. Cooper this time) in the Finnish Snow Rally. She came back full of enthusiasm and an interesting tale about the winner of the rally, Simo Lampinen.
At that time scarcely twenty years old, he had been rallying a Saab for three years, which meant that, to start with, teacher’s permission to have time out of school was needed. In addition, the previous two years had been spent within the confines of an iron lung as he had had polio, which made his left foot deformed. Despite all this, he went on to win the Finnish Rally Championship in his Saab and, in fact, he still holds the title. Earlier this year, he competed in the Acropolis, where his technique of left-footed braking, which is suited to special stage work, left his car without brakes two-thirds of the way round. He fared better on the Midnight Sun, where he finished second in class and eighth overall, but now he has won the 1,000 Lakes and in doing so has defeated the all-conquering Tom Trana, who finished second in his Volvo.
Saabs came out of this rally very well indeed as, apart from winning it, Rauno Aaltonen finished third and Ove Andersson was seventh. B.M.C. had their say as well, for Timo Makinen took fourth place in a 1,275-c.c. Cooper S, while another similar car driven by Krall came eighth. Fifth and sixth, respectively, were Bengt Soderström and Esko Keinanen in Cortina GTs.
The 1,000 Lakes is similar in many ways to the R.A.C. Rally, which is due to be held in November, in that loose-surfaced forest roads form the deciding special sections, and as such is an important guide as to what may be expected on the British event. In fact, Timo Makinen’s Cooper was prepared at Abingdon especially for the 1,000 Lakes and the event was treated as something of a tryout for one or two new ideas built into it. The R.A.C. favours a fast car in that our forests possess roads that are somewhat straighter than those encountered in Finland, but it is interesting to see that the Saab Sport can still defeat much more powerful cars—the Volvo and the Cortina GT—by virtue of its superior handling qualities.—J. D. F. D.