Gardemeister goes back to driving school
Suzuki World Rally Team driver Toni Gardemeister spent all day Monday at a driving test centre in Sapporo after a mix up with his international driving licence meant he had to get a Japanese one.
Gardemeister’s licence was issued in Monaco but was deemed invalid by the Japanese authorities, who wouldn’t let him drive in the country without passing the Japanese test. So on Monday 27 October, instead of taking a rest day as he had planned, the Finn, who has been a WRC driver since 1996, reported to the test centre to learn the rules of the road.
“In the morning I had to go to a classroom for some lessons, then after that I had to sit an exam, have my eyes tested and then take an instructor out in a car,” explained Gardemeister. “The road test was quite strange; it was in a big old Nissan or Toyota - I’m not sure which - and even though the instructor knew I’d been a rally driver for a long time he did things absolutely according to the book. It took the whole day to get the licence. It was a bit boring, I suppose. There was a lot of hanging around and it took about eight hours but at least I passed. I now have a Japanese driving licence for three years!”
As a newly qualified driver Gardemeister must display a green and yellow ‘Wakaba Mark’ sticker on the bonnet and rear window of his SX4 WRC to warn other road users of his inexperience!
Be like Toni Gardemeister and get yourself a wabaka sticker, TODAY!
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