Ahead of the 'Happiness Rally'
There are now only two days until the long awaited rally in Hólmavík named after the local festival “Hamingjudagar” or “Happiness days”. For me personally this is the most anticipated Icelandic rally of the summer, and this year it will offer almost exclusively new stages for all the crews, gone is the stage were I rolled on in 2016 and instead it has been replaced with 4 fast and demanding sprints through the Icelandic countryside. Reading the notes for me this time will be Heimir Snær Jónsson, he has been in the sport for a long time and will surely bring a lot of knowledge and experience into the team. We are driving for the first time together, which means that we both have to be on top form to be able to work well and efficiently together as soon as possible.
I’m going back into the Impreza for this event after help from some great friends and family getting the car running properly again. I’ve also had good support from ‘Poulsen’ as well as ‘Kistufell’ which were able to supply a brand new turbo for the car just in the nick of time. Safe to say I wouldn’t be able to do the rally without their support, and just last night we had the first proper test run in the car and apart from a few small details and some suspension tweaks the car should be ready to race.
I will need to adjust my driving stile though, and I think that will be the most difficult bit because everything that I have learned from Matt Edwards this spring has all been related to driving a proper M-sport built Ford Fiesta. The Subaru is considerably heavier with worse weight balance and by most standards out-dated handling characteristics. It is also completely different in terms of the drivetrain, more wheels are driven and I have much more power going through a street level transmission. With limited testing before the event and a lot to get confortable with, I’m not to sure we will be on the pace right from the word go, but we will push with every mile and hopefully challenge for the win.
Since this rally was held in 2016 I have always really enjoyed it, I love coming to this small an quiet town while it gets mixed with the loud rally cars and driving through some of the best stages in the world, I was really sorry to miss it last year due to mechanical failure so this year I’m coming back with a vengeance.
All in all I’m really excited for this event, it has a great line up of drivers and some very good looking stages.
It’s going to be tough but fun.