Jari Huttunen is aiming for the WRC2 podium again as the FIA World Rally Championship heads to Spain, a fourth place finish at Wales Rally GB puts him in a mood ahead of his Rally de España debut.
Huttunen and co-driver Antti Linnaketo have participated in six WRC events this season and are currently seventh in the WRC2 Drivers’ championship standings, four points behind Fabio Andolfi and only one point ahead of Ole Christian Veiby; Both drivers will be participating in the rally this weekend so the Finn will need to maximise his results to make progress and extend his advantage.
“Jari and Antti have made important progress throughout 2018, tackling a combination of familiar and new events.” said Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan. “We have seen how well they have fared on rallies where they have past experience – Finland and Wales particularly – but it has been equally important for them to discover new events.
“Spain will be the next challenge on their learning curve, but we are sure they will get the best out of themselves and the ever-improving Hyundai i20 R5.”
While missing out on the podium in Wales, Huttunen was happy with the progress made this year, especially as it was only championship leader Jan Kopecky who was absent last time out.
“Wales was arguably the most encouraging WRC2 weekend we’ve had this year.” said Huttunen. “Of course, we were confident and fast in Finland but at the last event we really put into practice a full twelve months of development and hard work.
“The improvements have been good but we also know we have more to learn. Spain will be a new event for us, so we will have a bigger challenge against the main WRC2 contenders, who will no doubt set a high benchmark. Our aim is to get as close to them as we can and pick up experience of a mixed gravel/tarmac rally.”
The 54. RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada 2018 gets under way on Thursday 25 October with the crowd favourite Barcelona city stage returning to the event.
Follow The Checkered Flag throughout the event for updates each day.