4.6.2011 - Toni Gardemeister drove his season best result in IRC series
Flying Finn Toni Gardemeister, age of 36, positioned seventh in IRC Rally Yalta which was driven in Ukraine. After colorful events TGS Worldwide rally team Skoda Fabia S2000 driver and co-driver Tapio Suominen finished the event by 7 minutes and 59 seconds slower than winner fellow countryman Juho Hänninen.
Lots of punctures were seen in a fast-paced tarmac rally and therefore the gaps between drivers were big. After suffering a puncture Gardemeister had no chances to improve his position.
- Despite puncture we had a good rally. I had a good touch in my driving and also the grip was better than in previous rounds, Gardemeister told.
- During the rally I made only small driving mistakes and two final stages the car engine lost one cylinder. Without puncture we would have been able to drive for top-5 positions, Gardemeister explained.
In past three rounds Gardemeister has been able to improve his run in each rally.
He and his TGS Worldwide team still faces five more IRC rounds.
- Before puncture we were in fifth position. It gives us lots of hope that we're improving the car into right direction. However we have still lots of work to be done before next round, Gardemeister told.
At the moment TGS Worldwide team loses time in engine power because factory cars has improved engine which produces 15 horse powers more than the specification Gardemester uses in his Skoda Fabia S2000 rally car.
- New engine would help a lot but so far we use the engine we have right now. I expect a lot from big tarmac test which we're driving in Finland, Gardemeister planned.
Before tarmac tests TGS Worldwide has one IRC rally to go as next round is to be driven in Belgium at Midnight Summer weekend in June 23th - 25th.
After four IRC rounds Gardemeister in in 9th position in IRC-series standings.
Final results IRC Yalta Rally, Ukraine:
1. Juho Hänninen & Mikko Markkula, Škoda Fabia S2000, 2:54:14.0
2. Bryan Bouffier Bryan & Xavier Panseri, Peugeot 207 S2000, +11.7sec
3. Jan Kopecký Jan & Petr Starý, Škoda Fabia S2000, +38.7sec
7. Toni Gardemeister Toni & Tapio Suominen, Škoda Fabia S2000, +7:59.3sec