KMS Racing to make international debuts with two young talents
KMS Racing is set to compete in the Saaremaa Rally, held in Estonia this weekend, spearheaded by two promising Finnish talents making their international debut. Justus Räikkönen takes the wheel of the team's Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evo, while Raoul Dahlqvist pilots the Ford Fiesta Rally4.
M-Sport's official partner in Finland, KMS Racing is set to compete in the traditional Saaremaa Rally in Estonia with a duo of young Finnish rally talents. For both Justus Räikkönen and Raoul Dahlqvist, this marks their first time competing in an international arena.
Räikkönen's Journey into Four-Wheel Drive
The freshly crowned FRC3 category Finnish champion Justus Räikkönen, aged 18, will be tackling the Saaremaa Rally in the driver's seat of a Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evo. Having previously raced exclusively in front-wheel-drive cars, Räikkönen's leap to a four-wheel-drive machine is the logical next step in his career. Guiding him from the co-driver's seat is the experienced co-driver Mikael Korhonen, who partnered Räikkönen on their title-winning season.
"I'm not sure which I’m more nervous about, my first rally outside of Finland or the entirely new drivetrain of a four-wheel-drive car. Four-wheel drive has its tricks, and I still have much to learn about its dynamics. After this weekend, I hope to have gained good understanding of four-wheel-drive car’s dynamics. This weekend all about improving throughout the weekend without undue pressure in terms of results," Räikkönen reflects.
Dahlqvist's Learning Expedition in Estonia
Behind the wheel of the team's front-wheel-drive Rally4-class Fiesta is Raoul Dahlqvist. The 18-year-old talent, who competed in the FRC4 category this season, is taking his first steps with a Rally4 car, and the upcoming weekend's event also marks Dahlqvist's international debut. Alongside him in the navigator's seat is another very experienced co-driver, Antti Linnaketo.
"I'm excited to see what the rally has in store for us, and how the level of competition is like in Estonia. I'm not putting any unnecessary pressure on myself for my first international, but instead my goal is to become with the car and get a feel of the stages in Estonia. Although the car is new to us, we've managed to clock up a good number of test kilometres during the autumn. The goal in Saaremaa is to gain experience and knowledge about the car. Also, as long as we're not last, we can be content with the result," Dahlqvist outlines his aims for the weekend.
VBR Innovations Joins Forces with KMS Racing and Räikkönen
Furthermore, before the Saaremaa Rally an exciting partnership is unveiled between Austrian company VBR Innovations, KMS Racing, and Justus Räikkönen. VBR Innovations, specializing in teleoperation technology for remote control of machinery and vehicles, has entered into a strategic partnership with KMS and Räikkönen.
"It always bothered us that in most simulation racing games, you couldn’t feel when the car was oversteering or understeering. With our technology, we capture real forces and transfer them almost in real-time to the simulator. It’s a lot of fun," explains Philipp Lietz, co-founder of VBR Innovations.
The Saaremaa Rally is held on the Saaremaa Island in Estonia on October 6-7. The rally features 12 special stages covering a total of 124.76 kilometers of special stage distance. Dahlqvist, competing in the EMV4 class, embarks on the route with the number 28, while Räikkönen, competing in the EMV3 class, bears the number 57. For more info on VRB Innovations, visit https://vbr-innovations.com.
Saaremaa Rally schedule
18:10 – SS1 Jööri – 8,50 km
18:55 – SS2 Pammana – 12,68 km
20:40 – SS3 Kuressaare Linn – 2,59 km
8:11 – SS4 Lassi 1 – 8,12 km
9:04 – SS5 Kurevere 1 – 20,97 km
10:02 – SS6 Orikula 1 – 2,29 km
11:40 – SS7 Lassi 2 – 8,12 km
12:33 – SS8 Kurevere 2 – 20,97 km
13:21 – SS9 Abula 1 – 9,34 km
14:04 – SS10 Orikula 2 – 2,29 km
16:02 – SS11 Kandla – 19,55 km
16:50 – SS12 Abula 2 – 9,34 km
Photo: Ville Laakso