Soon after his first victory in Finnish Championship event Joonas Tokee
headed towards Italy where he spent a week learning tarmac rally driving
basics. 20-year-old Tokee had an objective to gain experience to compete
abroad as well as driving on tarmac which is not possible in Finnish
During the last week he did run in many test roads with Peugeot 208 R2
and also made pace note practicing in totally new conditions. After all
that training and learning Tokee had his very first tarmac rally
competition, Ronde del Grifo.
Tokee and co-driver Jani Salo got very good advices as their driver
coach was talented Italian Simone Campedelli.
– We started our preparations with driving lessons and I was able to get
to feel of the tarmac driving. First day was rainy, so we had a good
experience in slippery conditions. Next day in dry conditions I was able
to quickly find the feeling of good grip what tarmac offers. I got lot
of good driving tips from Simone, thanked Tokee.
After test drives Tokee and Salo focused few days on recce training. On
Friday they had one more driving test and on Saturday they run a
On Sunday it was time for Tokee´s first tarmac rally. The weather was
rainy in morning, so it brought its own excitement for the young driver.
– The first stage started well, but on half-way mark I made a small
mistake and I hit a rock. The rest of the stage I drove really gently,
so I was surprised to reach the best time in our class. After that I was
just driving on my own rhythm in second and third stages.
– Before the last special stage we had a lead of 3,5 seconds in our
class. Although the intention was just to collect the experience, on the
last stage I was going to fight for victory.
– Final stage went really well and it helped us to achieve a class
victory and 10th place overall. The whole week was really perfect and
I´m very satisfied, Joonas Tokee informed.
Text: Jarno Saari
Photo: Simone Colpo