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Elfyn and Phil all set for Finland

The pair will start the Neste Oil Rally Finland in second place in the six-rally series and elected to compete in a round of the Finnish Rally Championship – the SM O.K Auto-Ralli – to gain valuable experience of the fast and flowing Finnish gravel roads.

The Welsh pair took Elfyn’s own Ford Fiesta R2 to Finland for the Kouvola-based event and finished second in class, just 24 seconds behind Andreas Amberg, who currently leads the class in the Finnish Championship.

Elfyn said:

I’ve always known that Finland would be really important as far as the Championship is concerned. It’s so different to Greece as it’s such a fast event and the Scandinavian drivers have so much more experience. Since it’s so easy to make a mistake, I think a fairly cautious approach is called for and so I’m planning to go at my own pace and see what the others do.

The decision to compete on a round of the Finnish Championship really paid off. We had a very good test on the Thursday and then we did everything we planned to do; we were able to try a few things and so we’re much happier with the set-up. What’s more, we know where we can improve a few things even further and so we’re now more than ready for Rally Finland.

Phil Pugh said:

The weekend has put us both in the right frame of mind for Rally Finland; you know when the locals come to talk to you that you’re doing something right!

Elfyn had a few unknowns after last year’s Rally Finland, but we are both a lot happier about the pacenotes and the car’s set-up. What’s more, our relationship is strengthening with every week that passes, whether we’re competing or not, and the job for both of us is now a lot clearer.