TOMMI MAKINEN

FOUR-TIME world car rally champion Tommi Makinen has been fined in New Zealand for failing to stop for police while driving 99 kilometres an hour in a 50-kmh speed zone.

Makinen, 39, who drives for the Subaru World Rally team, was on his way to the start of the next stage of the Rally of New Zealand earlier this year, the district court in Nelson was told.

He ignored a police car that pursued him with its siren on and lights flashing for about 2.4 kilometres, and later told police that he was running late and feared he would have to forfeit the rally.

Makinen did not appear in court but admitted the charge through a lawyer and was fined 350 New Zealand dollars (about 203 dollars), the Nelson Evening Mail reported.

Two other international drivers, fellow Finn Kari Lars Kristian Sohlberg and Daniel Sola Villa of Spain, also admitted offences committed during the rally and both were disqualified from driving in New Zealand for three months.