Finnish driver Riku Tahko has announced that he will return to to the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2016, using the MINI ClubmanRX Supercar that he campaigned during the 2015 season.
The Finn had a steep learning curve with the Supercar last year and his running at the season finale in Italy was curtailed after engine issues. Following the end of last season, he has since been testing the MINI and is hopeful of a better season ahead as he approaches 2016 with renewed confidence:
“We broke the engine at the last round in Italy last year because a water pipe cracked. We were able to fix the engine once we got home and did some tests at a race track with the parts we had improved before Italy,” explained Tahko to the FIA World Rallycross website.
“At this point a year ago we didn’t even have a bodyshell, so on that side we have all the equipment: the car, spares, truck and everything ready. Now we can concentrate on the most important thing, which is developing the car further. We are a million years ahead of where we were a year ago, that’s why I’m really looking forward to the spring and to be able to run some proper tests before the opening Euro RX round in Belgium. There are a few things yet to confirm, but I’m going to do it. Things are looking really promising.”
Tahko made his Supercar debut back in 2014 at the WorldRX of Finland, driving an LD Motorsports Citroen DS3 alongside Derek Tohill before moving to EuroRX with the Mini in 2015. For his second season of FIA EuroRX, Tahko has made his aims and targets very clear, after a 2015 season where he struggled with reliability:
“In our first season I wanted to make the finals at least once to be satisfied with the result, but we were not able to reach that. This year I think we need to first do clean runs. For sure our development season is over, we need to be able to show our pace and stay consistent. If we can do that, it shouldn’t be an issue speed wise to get into the finals.
“We did some promising lap times already last year, so the first thing is to get into the finals and to keep the pace there and then we can start to go closer to the top three guys towards the end of the season. If we can find a good pace for each race and stay consistent we should be quite high up in the championship at the end of the year.”
Also confirmed for this years EuroRX series are Irishman Derek Tohill in his new OlsbergsMSE built Ford Fiesta and Germany’s Andreas Steffen who will campaign a Jos Kuypers built Ford Fiesta.
The opening round of the 2016 FIA European Rallycross Championship kicks off at the Mettet Circuit in Belgium on 13-15 May.