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05 Jun 2014

WRX: Finns to challenge stars

Category: News, WRX Posted 05.06.14 00:15 by

Finland boasts one of the most competitive national Rallycross championships. No wonder that several drivers from that series are looking forward to challenge established international stars in the forthcoming WorldRX round of Kouvola.

 

Several of Finland’s top names have expressed their intention to take part in the first ever World Rallycross Championship round to be driven in their native country. Certain to take part in Kouvola is six-times Finnish champion Atro Määttä. Instead of running another full domestic season, the national hero will focus on two outings in the world series. In addition to RX Finland Määttä plans to take part in the Swedish round at Höljes. A new Ford Fiesta SuperCar should be ready for him by the last weekend of June.

“We have spent the whole winter building that car and it’s looking good. It is shorter and lighter than my previous one, so it should be agile on the Tykkimäki circuit of Kouvola,” says Määttä and continues: “I felt the time is right to focus all our resources on world championship rounds, rather than another attack on the Finnish title.”

 

Last year Määttä and his Ford Focus Mk1 SuperCar were seen at Höljes in Sweden. © QBA/ERC24

Last year Määttä and his Ford Focus Mk1 SuperCar were seen at Höljes in Sweden. © QBA/ERC24

 

Versatile Joni-Pekka Rajala made history last year by winning the Finnish Rallycross Championship titles in both; the SuperCar and SRC categories – and he again won the opening SuperCar round of this year. Having bagged uncounted trophies in various motorsport disciplines Rajala now feels ready to reach out for success on world level.

“People outside of Finland have been wondering how I last year managed to swap classes in five minutes time and adapt my driving style. Others have tried too, but without success,” said Rajala in an interview with Yle TV in May. “I’m not sure yet what model of car I’ll be driving in Kouvola, but we are very close to clinching a deal for a top car. The target is a place in the Final, but even racing in a Semi-Final would be good,” Rajala added.

 

Janne Kanerva and his Citroën C4 SuperCar pictured in the 2013 ERC round at Kouvola. © JKR/ERC24

Janne Kanerva and his Citroën C4 SuperCar pictured in the 2013 ERC round at Kouvola. © JKR/ERC24

 

Others planning to race in WorldRX Finland are Janne Kanerva and Jari Järvenpää. Kanerva won two heats in the 2014 Finnish series opener, but missed an opportunity to start the Final from second place on the grid, as his car developed a problem. “I’ll be in Kouvola, unless there are unforeseen troubles with the car,” he vows. Järvenpää meanwhile intends to take part in the TouringCar category with a Ford Fiesta acquired from Belgian Koen Pauwels.

 

Top photo: Six-times Finnish champion Atro Määttä has swapped his Ford Focus for a Fiesta. © Toni Ollikainen/ERC24