Huttunen steps up to WRC at home

Jari Huttunen

Jari Huttunen will make his top-tier World Rally Championship debut on home turf at Rally Finland.

The 2020 WRC3 champion has been promoted from WRC2 ranks by British team M-Sport to make his Rally1 debut in a Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1.

In his 2022 WRC2 campaign with M-Sport, Huttunen has collected two podiums and 10 stage wins, to sit sixth in this year’s standings.

Huttunen will be joined in Finland by his regular co-driver Mikko Lukka, who guided him to his 2020 WRC3 success.

The Kiuruvesi native is keen to impress in front of home fans.

“I’m really excited to be doing my home rally in a Puma, it will be a great experience and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere with the fans and everything,” Huttunen said.

“It will definitely be challenging on such a fast rally in a car with so much power, but I have a good feeling in the Rally2 already and so I feel we will carry that feeling over to the Puma.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with M-Sport on these past events and I’m starting to feel very at home.

“The aim for the weekend will be to learn from the car and try to keep a good rhythm with a steady pace.

“It can be a tricky event but I know it quite well, so let’s see what happens. I’m very glad to be given this opportunity by M-Sport so we want to make the most of it.”

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener said the debut allows Huttunen to sample top level machinery.

“I can’t wait to see Jari step up into Rally1 machinery and feel very proud that it will be in an M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1,” Millener said.

“We are promoting a new generation of cars this year as we embark upon WRC’s new hybrid era, it is therefore paramount that we provide opportunities to a new generation of drivers as well.

“For Jari he will be starting to learn what it takes to be at the very top of the WRC, for us we will learn what we need to do to support and develop Jari to get him to the top level.”

Since joining the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in November 2021, Huttunen has duly impressed, claiming a victory and a total of three podiums in his four WRC2 appearances to date, in a Fiesta Rally2.

Ahead of Rally Finland, Huttunen will get a full test day in Estonia to come to grips with the Puma Hybrid Rally1 car, giving him an opportunity to show his raw speed and talent, in one of the fastest rallies of the year.

Huttunen will also enter Rally Estonia in a Fiesta Rally2, as part of his WRC2 campaign.

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