Finnish rally prodigy nearly speechless – “Not many get such an opportunity”

Finnish rally prospect Tuukka Kauppinen has received an incredible opportunity in the Rally Finland.
Ville Hirvonen
Veli-Pekka Karttunen and Tuukka Kauppinen. Photo: Ville Hirvonen
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Kauppinen and his co-driver Veli-Pekka Karttunen will participate in the Rally Finland at the beginning of August with top-notch equipment.

Kauppinen, 17, will be competing in his home rally in a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 car. This will be the first WRC rally for both Kauppinen and Karttunen, as well as their first competition in a four-wheel-drive car.

The opportunity Kauppinen has received is highly significant even on an international level, and the young prodigy is naturally very excited about it.

“The feeling is just incredible. I have to thank (Markku) Rautio and all the partners who have joined in on this. Not many get such an opportunity,” Kauppinen enthused to

“This will provide excellent experience for the future. When you get an opportunity like this, you try to enjoy it,” Kauppinen continued.

Kauppinen has one clear goal for the Rally Finland.

“We’ll try to progress throughout the race and hope to drive all the stages,” he stated.

Kauppinen joined Markku Rautio’s Rautio Motorsport in March. At that time, it was announced that the dream was to participate in the Rally Finland this summer.

“Even before the first summer races, it was known that we would definitely be participating in the Rally Finland, but it was still undecided what car we would use,” Kauppinen recounted.

Kauppinen is from Laukaa, right next to rally legend Juha Kankkunen. While the Finnish WRC Rally is dear to all Finnish rally enthusiasts, it is especially close to the hearts of those from Central Finland.

“It’s quite unbelievable that I get to drive there now, as I live right next door, and a few stages are run very close by. I’ve always hoped to drive there someday. Now I get to drive the whole rally. It’s just incredible, and I can’t really describe these feelings yet,” Kauppinen said.

“I haven’t even driven the car yet, but this is really cool,” Kauppinen added.

Although the Laukaa stage, right near Kauppinen’s home, is not part of the rally this time, the course is still very familiar to him.

“It’s a good route this year and very familiar to me. I have either made notes for all of them or driven them in competition. Last year, I competed in Vetomies series, and many of the same stages were included. Sunday’s stages are the only ones that are a bit unfamiliar, but otherwise, it’s a good situation since there are so many familiar stages. That will certainly help in the race,” Kauppinen predicted.

Kauppinen has already marked one stage with a red pen, so to speak.

“It’s probably Myhinpää. Last year, I didn’t get to drive it because it was cancelled right before Vetomies event. I definitely want to drive it this time. It’s a challenging stage and certainly not an easy one, but it will be great to drive. Ouninpohja will also be great to drive through completely now, Kauppinen planned.

The Rally Finland will be held from 1-4 August.

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