Will you be Finland’s next rally star, Tuukka Kauppinen, 17?

Finnish rally super promise Tuukka Kauppinen gets an amazing opportunity in Rally Finland.
Tuukka Kauppinen
Tuukka Kauppinen. Photo: Eloon Media.
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Kauppinen, 17, will participate in the Rally Finland event with top-notch equipment, as he gets behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 car.

Kauppinen has been talked about for years as a great promise, and he took an important step already in March when the young man joined Rautio Motorsport.

Kauppinen has been involved in various sports throughout his life and has driven karting, among other things. His still early career reaches a certain peak at the beginning of August in Rally Finland.

“It’s been a long journey,” Kauppinen said to RallyJournal.com in July in Helsinki.

“We have worked hard along the way, but calmly from the start. First, of course, we tested different cars around Finland before even getting to drive in a single race,” Kauppinen continued.

Kauppinen’s career plan has so far worked perfectly. Many young promises, regardless of the sport, fall into haste and impatience. Fortunately, this has not happened in Kauppinen’s case.

“We have worked patiently and calmly. We didn’t rush into bigger classes immediately, but drove in smaller classes for many years to be truly ready to move up. First, we gathered experience in the smaller classes, and that has shown this year,” Kauppinen explained.

Joining Rautio Motorsport was a big step in Kauppinen’s career. Now he has begun serious training as a rally driver.

“Joining Rautio has, in a way, freed me, and I’ve received a lot of valuable lessons. The situation regarding rallying looks good at the moment. There are many opportunities.”

Kauppinen, from Finland, comes from a rally family. His father, Mikko Kauppinen, also drove rallies in his time. The father’s dream was directly passed on to the son.

“I’ve dreamed of this since I was a child. Dad was actively rallying when I was born. Rallying has always been a part of our family’s daily life. I completely fell for it,” Kauppinen said.

Kauppinen has already been titled the heir to Juha Kankkunen‘s mantle. The comparison is tough, as Kankkunen won four World Rally Championships during his career.

“It sounds pretty good,” Kauppinen laughed at the comparison.

“We’ve had many discussions with him already since he lives just next door. It’s great to hear such comparisons,” Kauppinen continued.

However, Kankkunen is more of a neighbour to the young rally promise. His biggest idol has long been the French multi-champion Sebastien Ogier.

“It’s always fascinated me how he drives the car. He still shows that he has the skill. It’s been nice to follow him from the very beginning. Of course, I’d like to be as skilled and successful as him one day,” Kauppinen praised the eight-time world champion.

Kauppinen’s talents are well known, but there is still a long way to go to reach Ogier’s achievements. The young man, however, is confident that he will one day become a professional driver.

“I have a lot of confidence in that because things have been progressing well all the time. There have been no setbacks, so at least for now, my confidence is high,” Kauppinen said.

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