Miika Hokkanen will make his first FIA European Rally Championship appearance for over a year on next weekend’s Rally di Roma Capitale in a new Peugeot 208 Rally4.
Former Finnish Junior champion Hokkanen has returned to the Saintéloc Junior Team for 2020 – the team that he took two ERC3 Junior podiums with back in 2018.
The 24-year-old has also only entered the Rome event once before, also in 2018, but is hoping to use his past experience of the event to his advantage. He said: “I’ve been to Rome once in 2018 and back then I really enjoyed the very nice stages.”
“Now I expect it will be a very challenging rally because of the very long break from driving. I don’t know how long it will take to find the pace again with the new car but the rally is amazing itself and I am very happy they could make the rally happen in this difficult situation.”
He went on to explain his plan ahead of the opening round of the season: “The objective is to learn in Rome but it will also be very interesting to have a new car because the last two years we have been with the previous specification R2 car.”
“To be honest I don’t have a lot of experience with the car so it will be a new learning process for me in Rome. I did maybe 10 kilometres last December, a very quick test. The car felt good but that was a very long time ago.”
“Now it’s a Rally4 car, it will be interesting to see because it’s faster than the previous one. For a driver point of view, it’s always more enjoyable for the driving when you are going faster.”
Rally di Roma Capitale is set to take place next weekend, with the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship set to be the biggest rally to take place since the COIVD-19 pandemic brought the sport to a halt in March.