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Asphalt sprint at Parkano12.8.2012

(Translation: Marko Salminen, SinCity Subtitles)

Now, when both Mustang racecars were in right condition after Ford Mustang Owners Club weekend´s test drives we announced ourselves in asphalt sprint to Parkano. Rally `Stang driver was Sami Maalismaa to whom the car was already familiar with the pre-existing from last year´s Mänttä Sprint. X-Factor driver, Arto Malinen have to do some adjustments and after tunings we took the test drives like really pro´s, once around the block.

Sunday was the race day and we didn´t spare the coffee into morning. Race pack was already at position and we have just to wait our chief Ellu, who made us tasty lunch for the journey. We took the wrenchman Janne Korhonen aboard and headed to Parkano. We were there well in advance and basic routines: equipment out, trailer on the parking lot and found a service place to our team. After sign-up we took bicycles and cycled through the route. Operating strategy was born. We found our steering lines well and after that we ate few ”finnish rally vegetables” (USA people might call those finnish vegetables as ”sausages”) and just to wait our starting point.

Sami took the first start, between me and Sami there was an Escort MK1 and after that was my turn. Escort dude wasn´t happy ´cause he had to race between two quality `Stangs and he had only Escort wich belongs in the museum and not on the race lane. We told him few ”not printable” utterances. Now was my turn to the flag. It went well at the first corner. With second gear after the corner the lane went uphill and my rear start to turn alongside. Smoke in the rearview mirror made me slightly easy-up my right leg, bigger gear on and the grip was much better before the next corner. 4th gear on and without relentlessly gas before fence made of iron and hit by one of those you´ll get 10sec time penalty. The differential lock went broke in fast lane corner. Only other-side wheel worked well ...and just when you get the ´Stang straight and steady the lock literally lock´s-up! Grip was gone and rest of the race went like Hollywood style.

Scoreboard didn´t praise distributed. I was middle of junior class, ten seconds behind the first place and four seconds to award places. Sami was last on the list. I thought that we have to really start to race on the next round. At the break there was plenty of wonderment around the Mustangs and very positive feedback about our special gear stock.

On the second round I watched in the start line when Sami speeded-up with everything what `Stang could give! Next the old Escort disappeared in horizon and ´cause of that when my turn was on, the race property man withdrawn the whole competition.

Number 43 was driven out of the course so far that it didn´t has no danger to race, but the race organizer wanted to tow the car away. Now I would be pulled chin on your chest if Hans-headrest should therefore only allowed. It was Sami. But as luckily the ambulance were there on position. Pace car went to drive and open the race lane and after few minutes `Stang get pedal to the metal and I was on fire! Few minutes I focused only tight corners and driving, but straight after finnish flag I was only thinking about rolled over `Stang. At the pit stop there were no `Stang wreck and the crew didn´t also know nothing what was happened. For everyone’s relief Sami walked in well and healthy (face seems little bit annoyed).

Race lane´s first chicane he came with 4th gear and get all what we got under `Stangs hood. Brake lane went slightly too far. Fast jump to brake pedal made that effecting that front wheels locked and the `Stang turned to bobsled. Break off and 1st fence clear, and it went well but in these kind of situations you got the lack of believe and your ”Deltaforce” is reality. Nose-down straight to ditch jumping over big rocks and finally when car stops in a trench...main powers off and sitting next to broke up car. Feeling at that kind of situation is not when Tom Hanks and Meg Rayan falls in love in ”Sleepless in Seattle”.

Results for X-Factor get better 4seconds but ranking remains the same. Award places was only few seconds behind, so we got hope that `Stangs race ability will be perfect after we got the lock fixed and changes of chassis to keep the rear tires on the tarmac.

Rally `Stang was checked immediately on crane in Hirsilä and to our surprise only bad damage was on rims, sump shield was more like a panzer tank driven roller mine and radiators down balk badly kinked. And all holes and cavities were full of our beloved fatherland. But these Ironwheels will hold up! Just in a thought...What if it were a Starlet instead of a Mustang.