Finnish champ for WRC 2

Finnish champion Eerik Pietarinen will tackle four European WRC 2 rounds this season in a Skoda Fabia R5.

The 25-year-old and co-driver Juhana Raitanen will kick-off their season at next week’s Rally Sweden (14 - 17 February), where their TGS Worldwide-prepared car will be nominated by Skoda Motorsport in WRC 2 Pro alongside Kalle Rovanperä.

They will also compete at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (30 May - 2 June), home round Neste Rally Finland (1 - 4 August) and Wales Rally GB (3 - 6 October).

Pietarinen has risen rapidly through the ranks since making his debut in 2012. He claimed several category wins in national rallies en route to winning the Finnish title in the SM2 class in 2017 and repeated his success 12 months later in the top category.

He made a breakthrough onto the world stage at last year’s Rally Finland when he scored a superb victory in WRC 2.

Pietarinen completed the recce at last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo for experience and knows this season will follow a similar theme.

“I know that I have a lot to learn and the best way to improve is to drive on different events to those I know already,” he said.

“This will be my first time competing at Rally Sweden and although I’ve already driven in similar conditions, I have never contested such a long and demanding rally on snow. It’s going to be a new challenge and I can’t wait to get started.

“I hope I can secure a decent points finish in WRC 2 Pro. I’m going to give it my best shot this year. The experience will be valuable for the rest of my career,” he added.

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