Juho Hänninen believes his drive to fourth place in Spain last weekend was a highlight of his 17-year career.
The Finn has hit a rich vein of form with Toyota Gazoo Racing in the second half of the WRC season. Third in Finland and fourth in Germany preceded another strong result at the mixed surface RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España.
The Yaris World Rally Car pilot won two asphalt stages on Saturday, despite it being his first start in Spain since 2011, and will look back with huge satisfaction on his pace.
“It’s one of my best drives,” he told wrc.com. “Saturday was a really, really cool day and what has been important for me is to see that I can fight with the other guys even though I haven’t been here for a long time.
“It was one of the most enjoyable days for me in a rally car. I wouldn’t like to say it was easy, but very close to that. No risks and a really nice drive,”
Hänninen undertook much of the early development work on the Yaris last year ahead of Toyota’s WRC return. However, it has taken a big chunk of the season to reach top form after being out of a full-time drive since his European Championship winning season in 2012.
“The start of the season was difficult and I didn’t accept that it would take some time to reach my best.
“Even though I did a lot of testing last year, I haven’t done the rallies for the last few years, one per year or something like that. So it takes some time to get back my rhythm for the rallies, and now it starts to pay back,” he added.