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KMS Racing to open the FRC summer season with three cars

17.05.2023 / KMS Racing Press

KMS Racing heads to the fourth round of the Finnish Rally Championship in Seinäjoki with three cars. In FRC2 category, Ville Laakso will be joined by the third-place finisher in class In Arctic Lapland Rally, Jani Luhtaniemi. In FRC3, the Czech youngster Daniel Polasek makes his debut on Finnish gravel alongside last round’s class winner Nico Valkonen.

The official M-Sport partner in Finland, KMS Racing, opens the summer season in the Finnish Rally Championship with the next weekend’s SM Pohjanmaa Ralli. The team is fielding three cars, one in FRC2 and two in FRC3.

In the FRC2 category, making his return from Jyväskylä is Ville Laakso. After learning the ropes of the four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta Rally3, the Finn is preparing for the main event of the year in Pohjanmaa.

-We had a lot of fun in Jyväskylä, and now we’re making our first outing with the car on gravel. Our goal is to have fun and gain experience for the WRC Rally Finland in August. I’m also looking forward to working with Jani Luhtaniemi, he’s a proper rally driver and I’m sure he can guide me in the right direction in terms of driving, Laakso said.

Jumping in the co-driver seat for Pohjanmaa is the third place finished in the respective category at the opening round of the championship, Jani Luhtaniemi. Whilst having a good amount of experience behind the wheel, his experience in co-driving is close to none.

-I’m feeling good at least for now, but we’ll see how well I manage to keep up. I was co-driving in a rally without notes last year, and now I get to experience pace note reading for the first time, Luhtaniemi explained.

In the FRC3 category fielding the striking orange and blue Fiesta are the Czech pair Daniel Polasek and Katerina Janovska. With some gravel experience under his belt, the Czech youngster gets his first touch with the fast and flowy stages of Finland.

-We are happy to be back on gravel, it’s a bit more familiar to me than snow. It will be great fun to race with the Finnish guys on gravel. I want to gain as much experience as possible from the rally for the future, Polasek said.

Driving the team’s second Fiesta Rally4 is last round’s class winner on his debut Nico Valkonen, co-driven by Hannu Lamminen.

-We have a lot to learn again. We’ll know how well the car suits us after testing on Thursday and place our goals accordingly. It’s hard to raise the bar in terms of placement, but we’re aiming for more determined, clean and confident performance, the 24-year old told.

KMS Racing Team Principal Jussi Kumpumäki heads to Seinäjoki with anticipation after a spring break in the championship.

-We’re excited to go to Pohjanmaa. For Daniel, the surface is familiar compared to the winter season and snow, even though the stages are very different by nature. With Ville we’re gaining more kilometres on gravel for Secto Rally. It’s great to have Nico with us after his win in Jyväskylä, here’s to hoping that we can continue from where we left off, Kumpumäki sums. 

Photo: Merita Mäkinen

Score top 5

1. Roope Korhonen / Anssi Viinikka 70 points LMM (Rally2)
2. Benjamin Korhola / Sebastian Virtanen 49 points VihUA (Rally2)
3. Anssi Rytkönen / Mikael Korhonen 38 points KoMoKe (R5)
4. Mikko Heikkilä / Kristian Temonen 34 points MäntsMK (Rally2)
5. Niclas Grönholm / Kristian Temonen 31 points EMSC (Rally2)

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Calendar 2024

1) 12.-13.1. SM Auto Sorsa Riihimäki-Ralli, Riihimäki
2) 1.-3.2. 59. Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi
3) 8.-9.3. SM Tuuri Ralli, Alavus
4) 24.-25.5. SM Mad-Croc Länsirannikon Ralli, Turku
5) 14.-15.6. SM Pohjanmaa Ralli, Seinäjoki
6) 23.-24.8. Future SM-ralli, Lahti
7) 4.-5.10. SM Ralli Kitee, Kitee

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