Reigning RX Academy champion Rasmus Tuominen from Finland is stepping up and will compete for the Finnish SET Promotion team in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 this season.
The team last competed in 2018 with a Renault Twingo in the series with Jesse Kallio who won the RX Academy in 2017. Now the team returns to the Super1600 series after a one-year break.
The 19-year-old became the RX Academy champion at Tierp Arena after an incredible season of fighting against his compatriot Tommi Hallman. Tuominen now became the third champion in the RX Academy series and he has chosen to compete in the Super1600 as his prize award this season.
“When I was little and started watching rallycross, I remember Andreas Bakkerud winning in Euro RX Super1600 in a Twingo. I’ve watched a lot of onboards since – Super1600 cars are just such special and cool race cars. It’s so good to be making this step with SET.” Tuominen, said.
“Coming from front-wheel-drive cars so far in my career, I think Super1600 will be a really good step for me and the driving style will be similar to the Clio RS RX I drove in RX Academy last season. The tyres will be the biggest thing to get used to.
“I learned a lot in RX Academy last season about driving in rallycross, handling the pressure when we were fighting for the title in the last round and being as prepared as possible. “
“Hopefully that will help me this year. I think the season will be tough from the start. Of course I want to be on the top step but I know it won’t be easy. I want to be consistent but as the season progresses, I think the speed will come naturally and I hope to get some serious results. I won in Latvia in RX Academy last season so I’m really looking forward to going back there.”
SET Promotion has previously had good success in the championship with current FIA World Rallycross Championship stars running for them, including Andreas Bakkerud, Timur Timerzyanov, Reinis Nitiss, Janis Baumanis.
“Although we were very busy with our various different programmes last year, somehow it felt strange that we had no presence in Super1600. It’s a category that is close to all our hearts, where we have had some amazing success, along with some very challenging times too, and we have made some incredible memories with so many of the biggest names in the sport today.” Jussi Pinomäki, Team Principal, said.
“I’m very excited that Rasmus will race our revised Twingo this season, our guys have put a big effort into the car over the winter and we can’t wait to get started. Having Topi on board is also really good for the team and for Rasmus.“
“They know how each other operates well from RX Academy last season, which will make a big difference as they go into this new challenge together. Rasmus impressed me with his speed and attitude in RX Academy last season, we’ve already seen what previous champions Jesse Kallio and Sami-Matti Trogen have been able to do in their first European seasons so I’m excited to see what Rasmus can do in the very competitive Super1600 environment.”
The team has won the Super1600 Championship six times, including 40 wins and 97 podiums since their debut in 2006.
Elsewhere SET Promotion has the GRX Taneco Team running in the World RX with the Hyundai i20 Supercar, the team drove in a trio of victories last season with Niclas Grönholm and Timerzyanov, and will now return to the championship this year again.
Rallycross star and Global Rallycross Champion Toomas Heikkinen will work as a driver coach for Tuominen and his mentor as he will chase down the crown this year.