Last week Toni Gardemeister took part in "Silk Way Rally". He drove Mitsubishi Pajero prepared by Latvian team "RE‐Autoclub". Unfortunately 3‐rd stage became the last one for Finnish driver in this competition. After 2 stages the crew kept the 3‐rd place overall, but the win was the main target for the team. The crew started 3‐rd stage quite well, but made mistake with navigation. Next they tried to catch the time and kept the maximum attack. The speed was very fast, when they jumped into drain.

"We seen one car stopped near the road and immediately got the strong hit. Unfortunately the drain was hidden and we didn't admit it earlier. After that I felt intense pain in my back. It was so strong, that I could not continue. Happily my co‐driver Agris Petersons was ok." ‐ told professional rally driver Toni Gardemeister.

After accident on 10‐th of July Toni was delivered by helicopter to hospital in Astrakhan. He can't walk as two spins were broken and one of them twisted. Toni stays there four days, while insurance company has organized his transportation to Helsinki by special flight. On Friday 13‐th of July Toni was delivered to hospital in Helsinki, where doctors after many checks made the final conclusion concerning his health. The surgery was made on 17‐th of July at evening and lasts about 7 hours. Doctors collected broken spins and made special iron installation in Toni's back. Next 2‐3 month he will be limited in moves and some activities. The total recovery will be long, but should be full and after about 9 months doctor will remove the iron installation from Toni's back and Flying Finn can come back under steering wheel of rally car.

"The most difficult thing here is mind – I should stay away from rallies for a long time. Anyway I will fight and do my best to come back on tracks as soon as possible, as without rallies I'm just exist, but don't live" – shared his thoughts Toni.

Many thanks to rally insurance company, to doctors and medicine stuff who was involved and all colleagues and friends for the help and support!

Lyhyt esittely

Olen toisen sukupolven ralliautoilija. Vuonna 1975 synnyin moottoriurheiluperheeseen ja kasvoin pihapiirissä, joka oli ympäröity kilpa-ajoneuvoilla. Isäni autourheiluharrastus alkoi vuonna 1970 ja sen myötä vauhti on tullut ikään kuin perintönä.

Ammattilaisuran jälkeen Toni toimii mm. ajokouluttajana ja mentoroi uusia rallilupauksia sekä toimii Jari-Matti Latvalan etuautokuljettajana.

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