Cold and dark to offer challenge to WRC stars
Hyundai driver Craig Breen on Arctic Rally Finland faces freezing temperatures – the ambient is set to hover around minus 10 degrees centigrade during the rally – night stages and being in a place where there are more reindeer (200,000) than people (180,000).
The closing stages of Lapland’s first WRC counter on Friday and Saturday will run in the dark and Breen is braced for the possibility of some “tricky” moments behind the wheel. “The stages in the dark are going to be a challenge,” Breen said. “Dark driving is always difficult but dark driving in snow is even more tricky.
It’s very difficult to define what’s the road, what’s the banks and what’s around it. In the forest at night… first of all it’s an amazing feeling, but secondly to try to distinguish what’s what is even more difficult.
“We’ll eat some carrots and make sure the eyes are on their best behaviour.”
Of the prospect of competing in extreme conditions, Breen believes he will be well prepared.
“The cars are quite warm inside during an event but when we’re outside making changes it’s difficult to keep warm in minus 20 degrees. So we’ll carry some heated insoles to keep our feet warm as it’s important to have all the feelings in your fingers and toes to drive the car properly.
“Hopefully we won’t need them but we’ll have shovels in the car because it’s not a place to be stranded outside. That says a lot about the challenge of the event.”