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Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team co-driver Paavo Lukander will return to the sport in which he made his competition debut to host an ice hockey match to be held at 6pm on Saturday evening at Kuovala Ice Hall.
The event raises money for the Ice Hockey Club that works to help young Finns recover from drug addiction and get into a healthy sport. “It is a very important project,” said Paavo, “and it is good that it receives support from so many people. We have sold over 6000 tickets for the match already.”
Paavo has attracted many of Finland’s World famous ice hockey stars, including Jari Kurri and Esa Pikkanen, to take part and he is hoping to get his driver, Toni Gardemeister, to take to the ice as well. “Maybe we will have to hold him up though!” joked Paavo.
The next event for the Škoda Fabia WRC is September’s Telstra Rally Australia. After the smooth and undulating gravel roads of Finland, the challenge that faces the Škoda Motorsport team at the final ‘long haul’ rally of the 2003 season is the unique ‘ball bearing’ gravel surface of Western Australia. As testing is banned in these long distance countries and the final specification of the Fabia WRC will be decided just before the start.
Škoda Fabia WRC fact file
● In Finland, Didier Auriol withdrew for medical reasons after one stage while Toni Gardemeister retired at the start of SS13 with engine damage.
● Toni has now completed 429.08kms of special stages in the Škoda Fabia WRC while Didier has completed 114.83kms. This makes a total distance of 543.91kms in competition over 34 special stages but only a fraction of the several thousand kilometres completed in testing.
● Toni has so far set three top 10 times with the Fabia WRC. In Germany he recorded a ninth and 10th fastest time while in Finland he claimed the new car’s best result so far with eighth place on SS7, Ruuhimäki.
● At the time of his retirement in Finland, Toni’s Fabia WRC was provisionally in the Manufacturers’ points scoring positions.
Next WRC event: Telstra Rally Australia (AUS), September 4-7
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