Finland : Barry Clark Racing - Preview
Scotsman Barry Clark will be looking to make it four consecutive wins in the Fiesta SportingTrophy International series as he lines up for round four in Finland next week. Over the opening three rounds Clark and co-driver Scott Martin
have sailed through each event, comfortably picking up maximum points.
Consistency pays a big role in the success of competitors running behind the WRC vehicles, something Clark and his Stobart Motorsport team have been extremely well-drilled in thus far in 2007.
With both Evgeniy Vertunov and Simon Hughes (second and third respectively in the FSTi championship) sitting the Finnish round out, it is the perfect opportunity for Clark to capitalise and extend his current nine point lead in the championship. This year, with four entrants in the FSTi category, Clark will be looking to repeat his 2006 winning result.
For the 2-litre GpN Ford Fiesta ST, Neste Oil Rally Finland can seriously test the durability of the car. With 27 world rally cars entered in the event, road conditions down the order can begin to deteriorate, often catching out the unwary competitor floating at the back of the pack.
Finland is one of the most atmospheric events on the WRC calendar, where hundreds of thousands of spectators flock to see the world's best in action.
Roads are wide fast-flowing stages with a mix of narrow, softer gravel sections through the southern Finnish forests surrounding Jyvaskyla. Last year saw Clark take top honours in the FSTi series in an emphatic manner when he won ten stages to take victory by over ten minutes.
“Finland will hopefully be another good event for us after such a great start to the year. It's nice to have a comfortable lead in the championship, but one round can still be dropped so we have to stay on top of our game to keep the pressure on the other guys. Rally Poland was a good opportunity to get some time in the car before Finland, so I will certainly be heading into the event with a lot more confidence.
"This will be a tough event on the Fiesta, as it has been in the past, but we won here last year so I'm just going to try and stay out of trouble and see if we can take victory again. With the big break in the championship I have been keeping up my fitness levels with the M-Sport trainer and am probably feeling the best I ever have coming into this event. The plan is to drive in a controlled manner and finish the rally without any problems. I'm really looking forward to getting back car and starting the event.”
Press Release Mitsubishi