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Q&A: Juha Kankkunen - EXCLUSIVE.

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH JUHA KANKKUNEN: CLICK HERE


Juha Kankkunen was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed recently and Crash.net Radio's Russell Atkins spoke to the four-time World Rally champion about the state of the sport - and the chances of fellow Finn Mikko Hirvonen beating Sebastien Loeb in the battle for the 2008 drivers' crown...


Crash.net:
Juha, how are you enjoying the Goodwood Festival of Speed?

Juha Kankkunen:
It is always nice. There are a lot of people here and it is good to see old friends and talk. This is one of the biggest events of its sort in the world. I am driving too, as well as looking around and doing some interviews. I just want to enjoy the day.

Crash.net:
What are you driving up the hill?

JK:
The Corolla - it brings back a lot of memories. I spent nine years of my career with Toyota and won many rallies and championships.

Crash.net:
What have you made of the WRC this year?

JK:
It is very tight. The fight at the moment is between the two Fords [Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala] and Sebastien Loeb - as Subaru brought out its new car late. Loeb is strong and when we go to the tarmac he will be very fast. We know that for sure. It will be interesting.

Crash.net:
Do you think fellow countryman Mikko Hirvonen can beat Sebastien Loeb to the title?

JK:
It is not going to be easy. I have been speaking to Mikko and it is of course possible because he is there [and leading the championship at the moment]. It depends how Sebastien drives. It is very close and very open. We have to remember though, that there are these asphalt rallies to come and they are very good for Sebastien. Normally he always does well on them. There are also several gravel rallies as well however, and Mikko is very fast on the loose.

Crash.net:
As a former multiple champion yourself, what do you think makes Sebastien so good?

JK:
He is very talented and he is a very good driver. His driving style is unique. He drives very carefully and of course he has a good car. A good man has to have a good car, so that everything works together. The package is good.

Crash.net:
Has anything surprised you or disappointed you this year?

JK:
Not really - it has been pretty normal. The only disappointment is maybe that there are not enough teams participating. It would be nicer if there were a few more people fighting for the win and just more teams in the rallies. Rallying is a nice sport.

Crash.net:
What about the WRC in terms of the regulations - is there anything you would like to see done to improve it?

JK:
I think there is a lot that needs to be done. The first thing is to bring the teams back and cut down a little bit. My idea, the same as Carlos [Sainz]'s, is to cut down on the number rallies and make them longer. Go for quality. Give the drivers' time to do a proper reconnaissance and concentrate on the event more, instead of doing them practically in a row every weekend.

Crash.net:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Juha Kankkunen - Subaru World Rally Team
27.05.2006 Monte Carlo, Monaco, . Juha Kankkunen, ex-wrc driver - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Monaco Grand Prix, Saturday
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: John Sulman]
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Metro 6R4 celebrations. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Markku Alen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
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Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
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Gwyndaf Evans. MML Sports Mitsubishi WRC05. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans. M-Sport Fiesta R5. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Interview stage. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Petter Solberg edges Mattias Ekstrom by 5/1000ths of a second in the German round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship
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Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

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