13 Feb 08
The P-WRC's first Indonesian competitor Subhan Aksa (IDN, Mitsubishi) wanted to take experience away from this rally but it took some time for him to get used to the weather conditions. He started to build up his speed through the first day but a spin and gearbox problem on SS5 set him back a little. He also hit a snow bank later in the day and another on SS11 on day two. Happier once the snow had started to melt, he fought to stay ahead of Tiipana on the final day, to finish in a very credible 10th.
On his debut WRC rally, Jussi Tiippana (FIN, Subaru) had actually only covered 50 kilometres in a four wheel-drive car prior to the event. On SS4 he had a spin about eight kilometres into the stage, stalled and lost about a minute in the process. But the 19-year old's aim was to gain experience and he brought his Subaru to the finish in 11th place.
Fabio Frisiero (I, Mitsubishi) had no problems throughout but having not contested a rally since New Zealand last year, he felt a little rusty and he eventually finished 12th.
Evgeny Aksakov (RUS, Mitsubishi) had no problems although having grown up in the snow, he said his only real problem was that there wasn't any! He did however go off the road on SS9 when he lost three minutes but he continued to finish in 13th position.
Andreas Aigner (A, Mitsubishi) started well, holding fifth through most of the first day and he was happy to be so close to the pace of the Scandinavian P-WRC drivers. But his luck changed on day two as he went off the road only two kilometres before the end of SS10 and lost 18 minutes as spectators helped him rejoin; he also had to change a broken wheel. Annoyed with his mistake, he got back on a charge to win the final stage of day two but a spin in SS17 on Sunday saw him drop another 40 seconds before finishing 14th.
Eyvind Brynildsen (N, Mitsubishi) had an unfortunate opening day as a problem at refuel resulted in him running out of fuel in the middle of SS4. The young Norwegian picked up his pace on day two despite managing some understeering but he was frustrated that he couldn't match the times of the likes of Patrik Flodin and eventually finished 15th.