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GP Week : Issue 124
“The next stages were close to our private summer house and we were now going very quickly, doing much better times than the others and when we came to the finish of the stage the mechanics were ready with a new fuel injection gallery which they had to replace. The job should have taken 12 minutes but it took 20 odd minutes ... “We calculated we had to average 122kph on the road section, well over the maximum speed allowed on the small Finnish roads, if we were not to lose any more road penalties. I knew the road quite well, there were a lot of jumps and brows, but could we risk it? Lasse Lampi, who was driving a private Quattro on the rally was now running in front of me and we asked him to check carefully if there was any sign of people checking speeds on the road sections. He radioed back that was no problem on the road, so it was safe for us to come. “I thought, okay we’ll take the risk, we’ll go for it. Meanwhile Lasse had been warning the other cars to move on the side because he knew that we were about to arrive at high speed. We arrived at the start of the next stage on time with only five seconds in hand. “Over the next stages, ever ything seemed to look good again. When we reached the Kalpalinna midnight rest halt I was leading by one second over Stig, so I was now relaxed in my mind. “We still had a long way to go but then on the next stage I went over one jump and an engine mounting broke. On an Audi this moved the engine just enough to pull off the turbo pipe. So I had to do half the stage without proper pressure and I lost again nearly one minute. Here I knew there would be police activity along the rally route so we chose another road completely, went flat out over that road to get enough time to have the engine mounting changed. My only worry was that somebody would protest our deviation! “We had built up enough time to change the engine mounting without penalty. In the early hours the rally headed westwards around Tampere, an area which had not been used for a long time, and we set about the others once more. We had the rest of the night and the following morning still to go. I was trying really hard but we suddenly realised just couldn’t make significantly better times than the others drivers. It didn’t add up. Top: Mikkola and co-driver Arne Hertz celebrate victory at the 1983 Rally of 1000 Lakes. Below: Mikkola changing a broken Fuel Injection Pipe. Top Right: Mikkola at his home rally in 1983. Below Right: Quite possibly one of the earliest examples of the term, “Flying Fin.”