Le Mans, Oun­in­po­hja

Motor Sport News - - Monsters: Venues -

Hannu Mikkola is not a man prone to ex­ag­ger­a­tion. So, when he talks of an out of body ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s worth tun­ing in. His mo­ment came in 1985 as he neared the end of his then record-break­ing run through Oun­in­po­hja in Audi’s bru­tal quat­tro S1 E2.

Mikkola said: “I drove Oun­in­po­hja in full anger in 1985 and I’ll re­mem­ber it for the rest of my days. It was the only time in my ca­reer that I got a sen­sa­tion I was no longer sit­ting in that car. It was like be­ing out­side it all. I’ve been told fighter pi­lots get a sim­i­lar feel­ing. This stage needs big heart and a lot of con­fi­dence.”

Fin­land is full of fast roads like this one, but Oun­in­po­hja’s just a bit more spe­cial. For one day every year, this stretch of gravel is some­thing else. It’s ral­ly­ing’s very own heaven on earth. DE

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