Tapper – Day 1 at Finland

Hello All,

Just a quick update on our progress here in Rally Finland. We had a reasonable start to the rally with some consistent times in the morning but really struggled on all the intersections and probably made myself look like a fool to the thousands of spectators because I could not reach the hand brake with my damaged arm..!! At the first service we were 2nd Pirelli car just behind Martin Semerad who we were having a great battle with. Thankfully at the service break the team made some modifications to my handbrake so I could at least use it if we had to.

The handbrake worked great and the car was feeling really good in the first stage after service but unfortunatly I missed a braking point coming into a junction and had an overshoot and had to back up losing about 15sec. We also damaged a rim in the stage and had to change that afterwards.

In the next stage all was going well and the notes were working great and my confidence in everything was building when we had a lower ball joint break in the front causing us to go straight off the outside of a corner and get stuck. All of this happened within sight of the finish line of the stage and we had just passed all the Rallytours Kiwi crew waving the Nz flag so they ran to our assistance but we were going no further today.

I guess I need to look at the positive in that this could have been far worse had the ball joint broken in a fast section and also there is no damage to the car.

We will rejoin the rally tomorrow under the super-rally regulations and just continue to try and get the experience of all the stages here.

I have attached a picture of some Finnish Mark Tapper fans we found in town here in Jyvaskyla who even have a life size poster of me…. A bit scary maybe..?

Thats all for now.

Thanks everyone for the support.

Mark Tapper

This article originally appeared on aprc.tv.