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08 May 2013

PR: RX Finland

Category: Press Releases Posted 08.05.13 14:59 by

Marcus Grönholm protégé Joni Wiman in the limelight for the Finnish round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship (RX) at Kouvola.

 

An interesting name has been added to the entry list of Finland’s round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, RX Finland. Challenging the registered competitors in the Super1600 class will be 19-year-old Joni Wiman, a protégé of double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm.

Joni Wiman has a surprising portfolio of experience considering his young age. Having raced since he was three (!), he has already competed in karting, single-seaters and national everyman’s class as well as proper Rallycross. In 2008 Wiman finished second in karting’s KF3 class European championship and a couple of years later, having progressed to cars, he participated in the Formula Renault Eurocup and then the British Winter Series, winning the latter.

A member of Finnish Automobile Sport Federation’s Driver Academy, Joni Wiman will this year concentrate on the Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) series in its new SuperCar Lites class for young drivers. Before embarking on his American programme, however, his season will kick off with the ERC outing in Kouvola. Wiman’s mount in his home event will be a Super1600 Renault Clio Mk2 run by the Set Promotion team, an outfit led by Rallycross stalwart Jussi Pinomäki. This will be an important event for Joni Wiman, as the Finnish backers who made his American expedition possible will be there to watch him. “I’ll get one day of testing in the Renault Clio before the race, either in Kouvola or somewhere else. I must make a good impression in my home event”, he says.

The co-operation between Wiman and Grönholm has been ongoing for several years now. Their interest in Rallycross came partly through Grönholm’s own experiences, but the launch of a JRX Cup class in the European series last year also contributed to it. In 2012 Wiman took part in four ERC rounds and came a way with a best result of second in one Super1600 round. In Kouvola he wants to seriously challenge the registered runners in Super1600 class, even though the main target for this season is to win the GRC Lites class title.

Marcus Grönholm has been well pleased with Joni Wiman’s results. “He drives really well. In my opinion he gave a convincing display of that by winning the Formula Renault Winter Series, but carrying on in single-seaters would have required a budget that we simply could not put together. Yes, I really do have faith in Joni, otherwise I would not still be involved. He has the necessary speed, which will guarantee he can make a success of Rallycross too”, says Grönholm.

 

Photo: Joni Wiman and his mentor Marcus Grönholm pictured in the WRC’s legend own museum. © AKK/ERC24