A Tale Of Two Floppy-Haired Finns
Do you remember Muddly Walker’s nickname for Mika Häkkinen?
Well, the former World Champion – rumoured to be considering
another F1 career, if you believe what has been written –
was competing against fellow (floppy-haired) Finn Markus Palttala
last weekend, in a Scandinavian Porsche Cup race at Ahvenisto in
raced for Porsche Sweden and Palttala for PSI Motorsport,supported
by Porsche Finland.
As Häkkinen was starting his career at McLaren, he raced twice
in Porsche Supercup, winning both races - in Monaco and Hungary.
Palttala has more experience with Porsche, but mainly with the PSI
GT2-R, which he's been racing in Belcar, FFSA GTs and FIA GTs.
Häkkinen and Palttala tested together for two days, sharing
information, helping each other and matching times. Palttala beat
Häkkinen in qualifying by 0.164 seconds, but the ex-F1 Champion
made a marvellous start in race 1 taking the lead, while Palttala
dropped to fourth. Palttala climbed rapidly back to second, caught
Häkkinen, but couldn't find a place to overtake. Half way through
the race Häkkinen started pulling away when Palttala suffered
from overheated tyres. In the end, the gap between the pair was
In race 2 on Sunday, it started raining half-an-hour before the
start. Häkkinen started on pole and Palttala completed the
front row. Palttala passed Häkkinen on lap 4 and after that
the younger Finn pulled out a clear gap and was able to control
"It was great to race again in Finland after so many years,”
said the younger ‘FHF’. Having Mika as an opponent was
excellent and we had a lot of fun during the week. He's obviously
a superb driver and I wasn't so disappointed for losing on Saturday,
but I was really pissed for making it so easy for him.
“In the second
race I could follow him easily and after overtaking him there was
no problems to stay in front. Nice revenge, but main point is the
good promotion for the Finnish national motorsport scene. I hope
the fans liked what they saw!"
"I really enjoyed my first race after F1 and it was a great
weekend for me and my family,” said Mika Häkkinen, after
Sunday’s race. “I won yesterday and lost to a good guy
after a fair fight today. My Formula 1 experience was shown on the
starts, but the Porsche is not easy in wet conditions. Well, I hoped
for more overtaking, but didn't quite mean this!"