A fantastic opportunity for a 17-year-old rally talent from Finland – top equipment for Rally Finland!

Tuukka Kauppinen, from Finland, will have an incredible opportunity at the beginning of August.
Tuukka Kauppinen and Veli-Pekka-Karttunen: Photo: Ville Hirvonen
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Skoda Motorsport Finland announced on Thursday that Kauppinen will participate in Rally Finland in the WRC2 category with a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 car.

This will be both Kauppinen’s first WRC rally and his first four-wheel-drive competition. This year, Kauppinen has been competing in the Finnish Rally Championship with a Ford Fiesta Rally4 car in the SM3 class, achieving two victories in that class. Last season, Kauppinen, hailing from near Juha Kankkunen’s neighbourhood in Laukaa’s Lankamaa , won the Finnish Rally Championship’s SM4 class title.

“It’s definitely a great thing. Of course, you want to experience this, and now we get to go straight into the WRC2 category. This is a unique opportunity. We will try to make good preparations so that there is as little pressure as possible for the actual race,” Kauppinen said on Thursday.

Kauppinen is not taking any pressure about his placements in his first four-wheel-drive competition.

“We’ll take all the experience we can and just try to enjoy it. The aim is to drive at our own pace and not stress about others,” the 17-year-old Kauppinen said.

Tuukka Kauppinen’s Skoda Fabia RS Rally2.

The equipment in the WRC2 class is top-notch, as Skoda has dominated the category for years. Kauppinen will get to drive the HYAcenter test rally a week before the Rally Finland.

“It’s great equipment. We’ll learn from it and try to get through the race. We will certainly gain maximum learning and develop at the same time,” Kauppinen noted.

“A week before, we’ll drive a test rally, and there will be testing that week as well. We’ll get to drive about 200 kilometres to get a good rhythm with the car in advance. That’s important since I have no experience with this car. I’ve done one test in the winter, but never on gravel,” the Finnish hopeful summed up.

The level in the WRC2 category is high, with competitors including Finnish stars Mikko Heikkilä, Teemu Asunmaa, Lauri Joona, and international drivers such as Oliver Solberg.

“It’s cool. I’ve always just watched these guys go fast. Now I get to be in the same class. At least now I’ll see what it takes and how much we lag behind. Then we’ll know better how we can improve and in what areas.”

Usually, Skoda Motorsport Finland’s drivers are managed by the Finnish TGS team, but since there are still a limited number of the newer RS Rally2 cars, Kauppinen will have the Hungarian Topp-Cars Rally Team handling the maintenance.

Kauppinen’s co-driver for the race will be Veli-Pekka Karttunen.

Tuukka Kauppinen gets a dream opportunity in Rally Finland.

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