Sayaka Adachi to co-drive Jarkko Nikara in Finnish Rally Championship
Japanese co-driver Sayaka Adachi will contest the Finnish Rally Championship as a part of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program was established to support young Japanese rallying talents to be global level drivers. With cooperation with Tommi Makinen Racing, the program has been helping two drivers develop themselves.
Adachi started her rally career in 2002 and she is a four-time Japanese Rally Champion. She has also co-driven Takamoto Katsuta, on a handful of events in 2015 and 2016. In addition, Adachi has been involved in various activities in Japan to boost interest in the sport, and now she is eager to grow up as a co-driver to higher level.
For her introduction to international competition, Adachi is teaming up with leading Finnish driver Jarkko Nikara for a campaign in Finland’s national championship which they will contest in an SM1-class Subaru Impreza. Nikara has enjoyed considerable success during his career and his natural speed will help Adachi’s progression.
“My goal in co-driving is to reach the WRC at some point,” Adachi said. “So I need to learn a new way of writing and reading pacenotes, and also get used to the high speeds I will experience competing on rallies in Finland.”
Nikara is motivated to be part of Adachi’s training program. “I’m excited about co-operation with Adachi and am looking forward to it. It is also a challenge for me to drive with a new co-driver. We have been driving together a couple of times now in a road car making pacenotes to get to know each other and how we both work. We will be driving a rally car together for the first time at the end of this week. I’m very pleased to be part of this.”
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program instructor Jouni Ampuja said: “Sayaka and Jarkko will be contesting the full Finnish Rally Championship together this year. The first event, the Arctic Lapland Rally, is challenging and the longest rally of the series in hard winter conditions, so it’s not going to be easy. Sayaka will learn all about the new type of pacenotes and the procedures co-drivers must follow, which in Finland are pretty much the same as they are at international level.”
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program's drivers, Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai, have been part of the scheme since 2015 and will undertake a full season of national and international rallies this year. The Arctic Lapland Rally is the opening event of the seven-round Finnish championship, which concludes in Tampere at the end of September. Based in Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Lapland Rally runs from 26-28 January.
|26-28. Jan.||Arctic Lapland Rally (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.1)|
|17-18. Feb.||SM Vaakuna-Ralli (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.2)|
|10-11 Mar.||TAHKO SM-Ralli (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.3)|
|19-20. May||Riihimäki-ralli (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.4)|
|9-10. Jun.||O.K. Auto-Ralli (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.5)|
|8-9. Sep.||SM Uusikaupunki-ralli (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.6)|
|29-30. Sep.||Lake City Rally (Finnish Rally Championship Rd.7)|
Photo: AKK/Taneli Niinimäki