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28 Mar 2013

PR: Set Promotion

Category: Press Releases Posted 28.03.13 15:38 by

The Finnish Set Promotion squad brings four S1600 cars to the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship (RX).

 

RallycrossRX starts over Easter in Lydden Hill in England. Set Promotion, who has dominated the front-wheel drive Super1600s category in the past few years, continues in that category. The team from Turku in Finland comes out with three full-time drivers and one extra driver for each event, all driving in Renault cars.

Set Promotion has two Renault Twingo and two Renault Clio in the RallycrossRX Super1600s category. The Russians Ildar Rakhmatullin (27) and Timur Shigaboutdinov (30) are driving a full season in a Twingo each. In one of the Clio’s will be Latvian Reinis Nitis who has a karting background, while the other Clio will be driven in the first event by Swedish Kevin Eriksson who makes the step up to the international top competition from the Swedish Folkrace scene.

Team manager Jussi Pinomäki says that they have a group of drivers who are capable of fighting for the title and win races: “Ildar Rakhmatullin drove with us in the 2011 season, so he makes a return to the team. This is going to be his fifth season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. He is an experienced driver and has shown his speed on many occasions. I believe that he can challenge for the title.”

“Timur Shigaboutdinov drove with us last year in a Clio, so this is his second season and this first time in a brand new Twingo. Before last year he had only driven in Russia. He spent the year 2012 learning the tricks of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, so this time we are expecting good results from him. Towards the end of last season he made it to the A final a couple of times and the goal is to carry on from there”, says Pinomäki.

The team’s third driver is the only 17 years old super talented Reinis Nitis from Latvia. “Reinis drove a couple of events last year in his own team’s car. Now for the first time he has a car that is capable of winning. He has shown his speed in the tests so we don’t have to guess if he is fast enough or not. He is fast and able to challenge for victory. His attitude is top notch and small things will determine if he’s going to be on the podium or somewhere else”, smiles Pinomäki.

The fourth car will be driven by various drivers in individual events. In the RallycrossRX opening event in  England the driver will be 16 year old Swede Kevin Eriksson. “Kevin will be checking out the level and getting new experiences. We have agreed that he is going to be learning and watching what is happening at the most prestigious Rallycross competition. Kevin drove one test day with us and has nothing to be embarrassed about his speed. His driving was fine”, claims Pinomäki.

There will be 14 cars in the RallycrossRX Super1600s category opening event. Pinomäki thinks that they have a good combination of drivers, there is a good balance of experience and young and upcoming drivers. The favourite will be Danish Ulrik Linnemann. He has years of experience in this category. The other favourite is Swedish Eric Färén. Our goal is to reach their speed and see what is happening at the tracks”, sums Pinomäki up.

Pinomäki admits that after six championship titles he is interested in the top category of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, the SuperCar category. He has already been negotiating about joining it. One of the big names in this year’s SuperCars is a 2003 Rally World Champion Petter Solberg from Norway. “There were various attempts to get in to the SuperCar category for this season to come, but we couldn’t put together a package that would have been satisfying and would have felt like the next step. We decided to stay in the Super1600s category and work hard for another year, so that in the 2014 season everything will be ready for us to get in the top class”, states Pinomäki.

The former ERC got a new global promoter in IMG which agreed a ten-year deal with FIA. “The direction is right and the sport is going full steam ahead. The future goal is to get Rallycross to the motorsport world stage. Set Promotion from Turku in Finland has won six ERC titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In the coming season there will be nine events. The opening event is in England over the coming weekend. The Finnish event takes place on June 8 and 9 at the Tykkimäki race track in Kouvola. The season ends at the Estering in Germany in September.

 

Photo: The two Russians Timur Shigaboutdinov (left) and Ildar Rakhmatullin will lead the Set Promotion squad this year. © JKR/ERC24