Wow! Jari-Matti Latvala to compete with Esapekka Lappi’s co-driver

The registration for the Pohjanmaa SM Rally, part of Finnish Rally Championship, closed on Monday evening.
Jari-Matti Latvala.
Jari-Matti Latvala. Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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As expected, Jari-Matti Latvala will be at the starting line in his home region. Latvala already competed in the winter season in the Tuuri SM Rally with his Toyota Celica, but that rally ended in a crash. This will be the third Finnish Championship round of the season for Latvala, who is currently the team principal for Toyota, as he also participated in the Arctic Lapland Rally in January.

In recent years, Juho Hänninen has been Latvala’s co-driver, although Enni Mälkönen, known from Sami Pajari‘s side, has also sat next to the team boss. This time, Latvala will have a new but familiar co-driver in the historic Toyota. In Pohjanmaa, Janne Ferm, known from the WRC as Esapekka Lappi‘s co-driver, will be reading the notes for Latvala.

A total of 116 crews registered for the Pohjanmaa SM Rally by the deadline. In the SM1 class, the absolute favorite to win is Teemu Asunmaa, who now gets a chance for a rematch in his home region. Asunmaa was close second place in the Tuuri Rally in March, but he was disqualified due to an underweight car. Asunmaa took first place in the Länsirannikon Rally last month.

In addition to Asunmaa, Roope Korhonen, Benjamin Korhola, and Niclas Grönholm are expected to contend for the top spots in the SM1 class. In the SM2 class, Henri Hokkala is aiming for his fifth consecutive victory.

New generation prospects from Toyota’s Japanese driver development program, Takumi Matsushita and Shotaro Goto, will debut in the Finnish Rally Championship behind the wheel of a Renault Clio Rally 4 car.

The full participant list can be found at this link.

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