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14 Feb 2013

PR: AKK Sports

Category: Press Releases Posted 14.02.13 20:20 by

AKK Sports Oy to organize the Finnish round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Kouvola.


AKK Sports Oy, best known as the organizer of Finland’s FIA World Rally Championship round, has come to an agreement with IMG Motorsports, part of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, and promoter of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, about hosting a round of the latter series, too. The contract between the parties covers five years, from 2013 to 2017.

AKK Sports has been the organizer of Finland’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship since 1997. During this period Neste Oil Rally Finland, based in the city of Jyväskylä, has established its position as a pioneering WRC event, regarding both its organization and scope of attractions. Competitors as well as spectators have repeatedly voted it to be the best qualifying round in the whole series. The organizer now wants to use its know-how in Rallycross with a goal of making Finland’s event a trend setter for the whole regrouped European Championship.

AKK Sports CEO Tiina Lehmonen is highly pleased with the new arrangement: “I am proud we can be involved in the establishment of a prestigious new FIA series with a company such as IMG, which is famous for its expertise in dealing with the some of the world’s best known sporting brands. The new event will nicely complement the portfolio of our business, offering another opportunity to exploit our own know-how,” she enthuses.

The first European series round under AKK Sports management will take place in early June in Kouvola. The city of Kouvola assumes a strong role in its organization, too, considering the event to be a top-notch addition to local summer attractions. Racing Executive Mika Heinonen from Finland’s ASN, AKK-Motorsport, believes the newly signed contract to be important for national level sport, too. “Finnish Rallycross has been in the ascendancy for the past few years, its appeal proved by the number of competitors as well as spectators. I believe the involvement of IMG Motorsports as promoter of the international series, together with the new competition format, will boost interest towards Rallycross not only internationally, but nationally too,” says Heinonen, who is himself going to be promoter of the Finnish round of the Championship.

IMG has already shown its prowess in motor sport by raising the profile of speedway, and having signed a deal with the FIA last autumn, it is now pursuing to do the same with Rallycross. “Finland has a strong heritage in the European Rallycross Championship and we believe that with a good date and the opportunity to promote the event regularly, Finland can again become one of the best Rallycross events in the world, outlines Martin Anayi, Managing Director of the Rallycross division at IMG.


Photo: With 6 won Finnish Championship titles since 2004 Atro Määttä is currently the most successful Finn in Rallycross. © JKR/ERC24