Tuesday | 24 Jan 2023

Rally1 cars and stars to contest national rallies

Several of the WRC’s frontline drivers will contest regional rallies in preparation for next month’s Rally Sweden (9 – 12 February).

M-Sport Ford’s Ott Tänak, Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta, and Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi have each entered national rallies in the run up to round two of the championship, which is the only pure winter event of the season.

Tänak will drive his Puma Rally1 on the Otepää Rally in his native Estonia on 4 February, while Katsuta and Lappi field their respective GR Yaris and i20 N Rally1 cars at the Kuopio Ralli in Finland, which takes place on the same weekend.

Testing regulations have been tightened for the 2023 WRC season, meaning each manufacturer team is now allowed 21 days of testing per year, limited to seven days per driver for a three-car team.

National rallies are not classified as test days, making them a good alternative for drivers to fine-tune their cars in representative conditions.

Lappi will drive in Finland the weekend prior to round two

"It’s great that we can take the Puma Rally1 to my home roads and I’m sure that the local rally fans are happy for this news," said Tänak, who finished fifth overall on his Puma debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo last week.

"We have had only one full event inside the car, so it’s crucial to get more mileage to adapt with it quicker. We participated at Otepää Winter Rally in 2021 as well and the roads over there are very enjoyable to drive. I am really looking forward to it and hopefully we can provide some good emotions for our fans over there," he added.

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