Business and pleasure for MML Sports in the winter snow

February will see ten days of business followed by indirect pleasure for MML Sports. The company will be running two Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Cars on Rally Sarma, the second round of the 2010 Latvian Rally Championship before moving to Lapland to run a corporate driving experience on a frozen lake, again using two Lancer WRC05s.

The second round of the Latvian Rally Championship takes place in the Gulbene region over the weekend of 13 February. As such, it is one of two snow rallies forming part of the championship and marks the beginning of the spring break until the snow has melted and the gravel roads in the Baltic state return to their natural condition.

MML Sports will once again be running a Lancer WRCar for Ivars Vasaraudzis and Peteris Spredzis and another for Raimonds Kisiels and co-driver Gatis Lanavas. The last time both team-mates competed on the same event was Rally Latvia last year, when Vasaraudzis lost time stuck in a ditch but set the fastest time on every other stage and Kisiels struggled to find his form after a prolonged absence from the driver’s seat.

The Sarma is an event both drivers know well and should set a competitive pace, especially considering the developments that MML Sports has made to the Lancer WRC05 since their last outing. This has seen improvements to the engine and driveability, which should further increase both Vasaraudzis’ and Kisiels’ pace.

As soon as the Sarma Rally is finished, the entire team will pack up and move to Rovaniemi in Lapland, northern Finland and right on the edge of the Arctic Circle. This is where the pleasure begins, though not for MML Sports itself.

The company has developed a corporate entertainment package, based around driving the two Lancer WRC05s on a frozen lake course. Participants will receive expert tuition and a demonstration of the Lancer’s capabilities before taking the wheel themselves to see what the view is like from the hot seat.

The first day on the lake will see the participants receive instruction in the various skills required for rally driving and begin their preparation for the morning of the second day. Then they will each take the wheel of the Lancer WRCar for a timed run over the course, to see who has the most talent and who has learned the most in the previous day.

That afternoon, they will take part in a snowmobile safari through the Lappish forests before taking a ‘Viking Sauna’ at the famous Bear’s Den retreat. This involves a plunge into the frozen lake through a hole in the ice but not until everyone has had time to warm-up in the sauna – guaranteed to get the pulse racing and wake everyone up!

The third and final day of the programme see the participants visit the world-renowned home of Santa Claus to meet the man himself as he rests up after his global pilgrimage and enjoy his hospitality before departing for home.

Commenting on the upcoming events, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “I’m very excited about these two very different events. We know that both Ivars and Raimonds are talented drivers and we also know that the Mitsubishi Lancer WRCar is very competitive on snow rallies, so we are looking forward to a good result when they get back into the car.

“The Arctic Sports Star event is something a little new for us and it is also very exciting. Over the years, we have managed countless drive events and hospitality functions on behalf of Mitsubishi but this stretches a little further – it’s more like the events that supported Mika Hakkinen’s appearance on the Arctic Rally in 2003 in a Mitsubishi.

“The participants are all acquaintances of Ivars and Peteris and are rally-mad, so I’m looking forward to delivering a high-quality experience for them. I hope that Ivars will be able to be there as winner of the Sarma Rally – that would put the icing on the cake.

“If this Artic Sports Star event is successful, then we will look into running similar events at different times during the year, and in different environments to allow fans to access the sport of rallying and see exactly why it is so popular.”