Four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen is satisfied with his pace through the opening day of Rally Finland – with the Finn holding an early seventh overall.
Kankkunen is contesting his first World Rally Championship round in almost eight years, driving for the Stobart Ford World Rally Team.
Despite having only tested the Focus for 50 miles ahead of his 22nd start on Rally Finland, he was quickly on the pace of his main target for the event: Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen. Kankkunen's only problem of the day came on the first stage of the day, where he was hit with a 10-second penalty for a jump start.
"I'm happy with today. So far it's good. No mistakes, nothing," said Kankkunen. "The pace is somewhere there, it feels, let's say, fast but still comfortable right now.
"You know you don't need to try anything too hard. I want to stay about the same pace, I want to stay on the road. We are trying to fight with Kimi and, so far, it's looking interesting."
Having passed the wreckage of his countryman Mikko Hirvonen's Ford on Urria 2, Kankkunen admitted he was mystified by the accident.
"The place he crashed is nothing," he said. "It's his favorite jump, I don't know what has happened. There was a story maybe something broke, I don't know. It's a stage where Mikko doesn't normally do anything like that.
"It's a shame for him. But now we have to rely on Jari-Matti [Latvala]."