24 Jul 08
"My friend Henke and I were on the first service. But after SS1 the co-driver was getting sick and it looked like we'd have to stop. So I phoned up the organisers, told them what had happened and asked if I could get in the car for Saturday as a co-driver. After some discussions they phoned back and said it was okay. We started last in the field but had really good fun. On the next two stages we had top 20 times out of 150 cars. On Saturday night we had to change the clutch so I was back as a mechanic again. Henke and I did a good job and changed it in less than one hour. People around us were very surprised when they saw me under the car!
On Sunday, I tried to push my dad harder with his driving. It felt okay in slower sections but when it was fast he didnlt trust his skills. Unfortunately we had to retire on stage 14 with a broken drive shaft. But my father was really happy and he wants to do the rally next year again but with a bit more practice. Last time he drove a rally was 1977 - before I was born - I am sure with a bit more practice we can be in top 20 next year."
Ever wondered what the Suzuki duo are like when they're not 100 per cent focused on tearing through rally stages? Well, the following might help:
How would you describe yourself in two sentences?
TG: I am quite calm, silent and shy, but sometimes I'm also the opposite.
P-G: There's always something going on. In general, I'm a cheery person and am very happy with my life.
Who is the most important person in your life?
TG: My girlfriend Mia.
P-G: Probably my father. He's always supported me 110 per cent from the start of my career as a rally driver on. He's spent a lot of time, a lot of money and has always done a very good job for me with the sponsors.
What is your favourite destination?
TG: Northern Finland during the wintertime. It's absolutely quiet and you can hear all the various animals, especially when you are in the middle of nowhere. The atmosphere is almost indescribable.
P-G: Somewhere close to a lake, when the sun is shining and the water is warm and fresh. You can go on a jet ski, have a quad bike parked next to you and stay there with a few friends and just relax.
What is the main difference between the WRC pilot and your private persona?
TG: When I'm not sitting in a rally car, I just don't think about rally at all. I focus on other things then and just live a normal life.
P-G: I am more relaxed when I'm at home. Still, I want things to happen. Instead of just laying back, I prefer action. If I want to do something, I'll do it immediately. During rallies I am very, very focused, especially while the rally is going on. I can be a bit ignorant at times then.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
TG: In five years I will be in the WRC top three, very close to the Champion's title, and will have achieved some good results for Suzuki.
P-G: In five years time I've won the World Rally Championship title and am still driving rallies.