A totally new rally team, Ford Junior Team Finland, is coming to the MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) with two drivers; Jussi Kumpumäki and Niko Nieminen who will compete in their familiar Ford Fiesta R2s.
Finnish drivers have always been successful on British rallies and there is plenty of interest for the upcoming season. The international rally season 2012 has already begun and the BRC kicks off next week with Rallye Sunseeker International.
22 year old Jussi Kumpumäki from Uusikaupunki in Finland is the 2010 Finnish Fiesta SportTrophy champion and since then he has been focusing on international rallies.
“Last year was a big learning curve as I drove in many different events. I won on both gravel and tarmac. In the BRC I was in 4th place in R2 class and 2nd in the Fiesta SportTrophy.” said Kumpumäki.
“I am now confident about this upcoming season and have set my sights high. I will be aiming for the victory in R2 class and the best possible overall results amongst the different two wheel drive cars.”
Experiences from the past season are a great help and preparing for the new season is easier. Apart from the opening rally, the rest of the events are familiar. I will be competing with two top co-drivers, Marko Salminen and Jani Salo this season.” he concluded.
19 year old Niko Nieminen from Loimaa has been busy competing in both the Finnish and Baltic rallies. Many rally events and hard training have raised the young man’s speed to a competitive level this past season. Nieminen’s car is run by Katap Racing. The team owns a share of the Estonian MM-Motorsport which has experience of rallying at World Championship level.
Nieminen, who was third in the 2010 Finnish Fiesta SportTrophy, is pleased with the new challenges in the BRC series. His co-driver is experienced Pasi Haataja.
“This is an important step in my early rally career. I have noticed that all these different races have improved me as a driver. I think the British series is possibly the best option for me at this stage.”
“The series is extremely competitive, so I get to test my speed against the other young drivers. I will learn a lot during my first season. So I am not quite dreaming of the victory yet.” commented Nieminen.