Fri 29 Jul 2022

Meet the latest Finn to join the WRC fray

Recent years have given the WRC plenty of young Finnish talent. Next week at Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August), keep an eye out for car number 40.

The car in question is a Ford Fiesta Rally3 and will be driven by young hotshot Toni Herranen, who hails from - you guessed it - host city Jyväskylä.  

Drivers like Kalle Rovanperä, Sami Pajari and Emil Lindholm have all made a name for themselves on the world stage in recent years. Herranen is hoping to follow in their footsteps and will debut in the WRC3 category at his home event.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t Herranen’s first foray into the WRC. He contested three rounds last year with a Rally4-specification Fiesta and won the RC4 class by over 16 minutes on home soil. 

But this season, he has focused on the FIA Junior ERC with the Fiesta Rally4, scoring back-to-back podiums on high-speed gravel events in Poland and Latvia.  

“I’m really excited,” Herranen told “I drove a small rally in the winter with a four-wheel drive car - an N5 car - but this will be the first proper rally for me and my first time in a Rally3 car anyway.

“It will be fun for sure, but it’s not going to be easy because there are some really fast guys ahead. We need to get the kilometres and the experience, and of course build the speed up during the rally. 

“I don’t really know about setting any targets in terms of position, but I just want to bring the speed up all the time.”

Herranen has tested the new car this week and hopes to adapt to it fairly quickly. If it all goes to plan, he may become a regular feature on WRC3 fixtures next season.

“I think I will adapt very well,” he continued. “But of course, it’s a bit different when you go in a four-wheel drive car. You need to change the driving style a lot and things like that, but we will see. 

“This will be more like a one-off outing with the Rally3 car. We might do some more local rallies and of course other things with the Rally4, but next year I will move properly into the Rally3 class.”

FIA Junior WRC frontrunner Lauri Joona tops the all-Fiesta entry list in WRC3 next week. Czech driver Jan Černy - winner at Rally Italia Sardegna - also features, while the remainder of the list is made up of local drivers.

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