Jani Paasonen, the former Škoda and Mitsubishi works driver in the FIA World Rally Championship and former STARD driver in the FIA World Rallycross Championship last season, will be joining the World RX with his own team.
Paasonen has previously competed in the FIA European Rallycross Championship with a Škoda Fabia Supercar. Following a break from rallycross, he came back last year to make his debut in the World RX, driving for the Austrian World RX team STARD in the second Ford Fiesta MK8 at selected rounds.
Now he is looking to be back in the championship as he establishes his own team, purchasing an ex-MJP Racing Ford Fiesta to run at some rounds this season.
He is planning to a full-season campaign in 2021, while also looking together with his main sponsor Ferratum to build a car to enter the electric World RX in 2022.
The car from MJP Racing will be completely rebuilt before heading out to the tracks. Paasonen has posted on social media showing testing at the ex-World RX track at Kouvola in Finland. In an interview with Motorsport.com, he revealed the car will be using an engine built by his team in Finland.
“If Höljes is the first race of the season [in the revised calendar released recently], we plan to enter there, then probably Riga and I hope to Barcelona, Also maybe some other races, but that’s not decided yet. It will depend a little bit how the first one is going.” Paasonen said on his interview with Motorsport.com.
“It’s our own engine built in Finland. We use the name ‘Turbo’ as you can see on the car, because it’s a turbo specialist company that’s building the engine. It has a lot of potential.
“My friend has talked to me for three or four that he has an idea how the rallycross engine needs to be, and he’s been working with turbos for 25 years. That’s why we needed our own car, so we can test as much as we want and need.
“If you’re running with cars in other countries, it’s more complicated to send the parts, get them fitted, fly there to test and everything. My place is 90kms from Kouvola, it’s more easy doing development like this.”
Paasonen is confident with his new purchase after testing the car at Kouvola and also at Hyvinkää. His team also planning on to test at several other European tracks after the travel restrictions have ceased and before the start of the season.
He is also planning to rent out his car if he doesn’t do a full-season next year.
“I’m very comfortable that’re we’re going in the right way, I will drive myself in some races, then later this year or maybe in 2021, we start to rent the car out. Of course I want to drive the full championship myself, but if we have a good car, if we have winning car, then we can rent it.” Paasonen continued on his interview with Motorsport.com.
“It’s interesting and I have a lot of information from the World Championship about the electric things, we are all the time checking how it’s going. One idea is that when we build our own team, then we can more easily start to build an electric car, maybe even using this Fiesta chassis. There are some possibilities.” Paasonen added.