Jussi Valimaki will drive in FIA Super 1600 Championship
One of the most promising young Finnish rally driver Jussi Valimaki moves to WRC rallies with Peugeot, the marque of the champion. Valimaki seems to be the only Finnish driver in FIA Super 1600 Championship. Jussi Valimaki will get beside him an experienced co-driver, Jakke Honkanen.
Super 1600 Championship will be driven with new homologated, under 1600 cc engine, front wheel drive, Group A rally cars. Valimaki will get a new Peugeot 206 Maxi with about 200 hp. "The car will come from Peugeot Sport and ST Motors will run the car in the rallies", told Valimaki.
FIA is planning Super 1600 class as a second category with World Rally Cars. This will mean also that the importance of Group N in WRC will decrease in the future.
"This is an important class in the future and I hope this will be a step to World Rally Cars, too. The number of manufacturers coming to the category will higher its profile", says Valimaki.
This year the series includes six events, three on tarmac and three on gravel. The first round will be driven March 23.-25. in Catalonia. The second event will be in the rough Acropolis in June. Valimaki has also one rally in his homeground, Neste Rally Finland in August. The end of the year will be busy, three rallies in October and November, Sanremo in Italy, Corsica in France and the series will end in Great Britain.
Jussi Valimaki did three WRC rallies last year, Sweden, Finland and Great Britain. He got the first time World Rally Car in Neste Rally Finland and the result, 13th overall, was very impressive.
"I have an experience of Rally Finland and Great Britain and it should help to get a good result. We will drive also one tarmac rally in Belgium in February to get some tarmac knowledge before Catalonia", told Valimaki.
The new co-driver, Jakke Honkanen, won the Finnish Rally Championship in Group N last year. Honkanen has been as a co-driver for many Finnish top-drivers: Mikael Sundstrom, Jouko Puhakka, Sebastian Lindholm, Jani Paasonen and Saku Vierimaa. Honkanen has already an experience of rallies in 16 countires.
"Jussi found much more speed in his driving last summer and I rank his performance very high in Neste Rally Finland last year. Valimaki is also very good in communicating and he has a good change to get into the top", described Honkanen