Former Rallycrosser Jussi Pinomaki has launched a new RX academy, with the backing of the Finnish ASN – with the winner promised a 2018 ERX entry.
A new Rallycross championship has been launched in Finland to give young aspiring World Rallycross Champions the opportunity to compete in a professional environment, and on a level playing field. The RX Academy, formed by Jussi Pinomaki, was revealed today in Helsinki by the Finnish ASN, and will run at each of the five Finnish Rallycross Championship rounds in 2017, with the winner of the championship receiving a fully-funded prize drive in the 2018 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600, or substantial assistance in competing in RX2.
The championship will use identical Renault Clio Cup RX cars, based on Renault’s latest Clio Cup racers, with participants also receiving mental, physical, PR and driver training. The Clio Cup RX cars are powered by a 1.6-litre turbo-charged 220bhp engine with a six-speed sequential gearbox. Drivers will be mentored by World RX race winners Andreas Bakkerud, Reinis Nitiss and Toomas Heikkinen, and only competitors aged 24 years-old and younger can win the prize drive. The fixed cost for the single-make championship includes test days and a pre-season training camp.
“The Clio Cup RX cars use proper race technology in the chassis’, engines and gearboxes, which are not easy to drive. Using high-level cars in this sort of programme hasn’t been done before,” said Pinomaki. “We believe that this concept presents the best environment for young drivers to learn, as they take the first steps in trying to become World Champions. Modern rallycross drivers need to have a range of skills, not just driving the cars, and we have put everything in place for them to receive mental, physical and PR training.”
The first round takes place at Hyvinkää in Finland, in May 2017.