Wednesday | 18 Feb 2015

Q&A: Jari Ketomaa

Last year’s WRC 2 runner-up Jari Ketomaa got his new season off to a terrific start with victory at Rally Sweden.

The Finn, who is co-driven by Kaj Lindstrom, took the lead on Friday’s first stage and saw off serious challenges from rivals Pontus Tidemand, Valeriy Gorban and his own Drive DMACK team-mate, Eyvind Brynildsen. Here’s what he had to say after the rally:

Q: There was a strong WRC 2 entry in Sweden. Did you feel a lot of pressure?
JK: “Not really. All I could do was drive my car as fast as possible. Since Wales last year we have made some changes to the car - just normal stuff to the suspension and the diffs - and it’s feeling great, so I could push where I wanted to. We started very fast at the beginning, did good times, and that put the guys behind us under pressure. On a high-speed rally like this, with lots of places to catch you out, trying to make up time is when mistakes can happen.”

Q: Did you have any dramas yourself?
JK: “No, not really. It helps having Kaj in the car, because he brings a sense of calm. He makes sure that in the slow places we take it nice and easy, and we’re not bouncing off the snow banks. But when it’s flat, these are the places where you can gain the time. Of course you still have to take risks, but the pace notes have been working so well that we didn’t do any stupid things in the slow places. It might look boring, but we have to drive as well as we can.”

Q: Last year you lost out to Karl Kruuda on the final stage. It was a better experience this time…
JK: “This time, on the icy downhill section to the finish we had studs in our front tyres, so it wasn’t so scary! Then of course it was great to stand on the roof and really win the rally. Last year I did it because there was some misunderstanding on the result. It wasn’t so nice. This time we managed it.”

Q: Will you contest the full WRC 2 season this year?
JK: “At the moment the plan is to do the next two rounds in Mexico and Argentina. Then we’ll see. I have some other rally commitments in China, and that calendar is not yet published, so we don’t know how many more WRC rallies we can do. Hopefully we will be doing the whole championship.”

More News