Gardemeister targets return

Toni Gardemeister has told Crash.net that he is 'working hard' to try and put together a programme that will see him back in action in 2010.

Although the former Suzuki and Ford WRC 'works' man didn't go into specifics, he did add that he is hoping to do some more events this season, and that next year he wants to compete in either the World Rally Championship or the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Indeed having already got a taste for the IRC back in January, when he took in the Rallye Monte Carlo in a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000 - the same car that F1 ace Kimi Raikkonen drove on the Rally Finland recently - Gardemeister is already more than aware of what that series has to offer.

"We don't know yet what will be the plan for 2010. But we will try to get a seat or some place to drive. Even this year I want to do some more events," the Finn said in an exclusive interview with Crash.net Radio.

"It is really, really difficult being at home and just watching the rallies and following the guys there. Always I like to be in the car and I really want to be there a lot.

"We just don't know yet though. We are trying to work very hard. But next year I definitely want to be back at World Rally Championship level or in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge or something like this."

Asked about the IRC, Gardemeister stated that it is a very good championship: "I like the IRC and the concept. I like the Super 2000 cars because they are interesting to drive and they are like the old rally cars. You can push the car to the limit and they are a bit 'raw'," he explained.

"The IRC is good as well because there are more cars at the moment than at WRC level. We will have to see what happens in the future now when the new regulations come in for the World Rally Championship."

As for this year, Gardemeister has had a lot of time on his hands, although he did take in the Monte, as mentioned earlier, and he was also in Mexico back in July, for the Rally of Nations event.

by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toni Gardemeister / Tomi Tuominen - Astra Fiat Grande Punto S2000. Rallye Monte Carlo January 20-24 2009 [Pic credit: IRC].
Toni Gardemeister (FIN) Suzuki SX4, SUZUKI WRT
Toni Gardemeister (FIN) Suzuki SX4 WRC
VW 2014 WRC title win in numbers
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Robert Kubica at the Monza Rally Show
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Liam Doran
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners

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August 17, 2009 4:17 PM

2005 it was if I remember rightly. Toni came 4th in the championship, and the championship was much stronger in those days. Not too shabby really. I agree that Kresta was nothing to write home about. I also agree that Toni should stay in IRC. I think he could do well there. Blimey Tapio Laukennen. That's a name from the past. Remember watching him in the Megane F2 car. You're right. There has been a few. Where are they all now Dafydd?

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

August 17, 2009 12:45 PM

I am a little puzzled by that last statement Forza. I dont like calling any Rally Driver Crap, but that was a year to forget for Malcolm. It Puzzles me how Garden Master (as someone above reffered to him) and especially Kresta could get a works seat with Arguably the top team. Colin was still alive then and could of done so much better than both of them put together. I know its down to Money and thats why Colin probably didnt get the drive but These guys shouldnt be in Top WRC teams. Toni is a good driver and should be in the IRC, I think he could continue there as a proffessional driver. Tapio was another good Finnish driver of Tonis Ilk.......there have been a few.....

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