Ketomaa secures Fiesta for home rally

“I’m very happy for this opportunity”

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By www.wrc.com

28 June 2011 - 14:29
Ketomaa secures Fiesta for home (...)

Jari Ketomaa will drive a new-generation World Rally Car for the first time when he contests Neste Oil Rally Finland next month in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The highly rated Finn will sample his new mount for the first time during a test the week before the high-speed gravel event takes place in Jyvaskyla from July 28-30.

“I have a great chance to compete against all WRC drivers,” said the 32-year-old multiple Finnish champion. “I’m very happy for this opportunity which provides me a chance to reach good result.”

Ketomaa, from Mikkeli in Finland, is no stranger to Ford technology having campaigned a Fiesta S2000 in the inaugural Super 2000 World Rally Championship last season alongside regular co-driver Mika Stenberg.

He was a three-time winner in the category but lost out on the title through a pair of costly of non-scores, including one on home soil following a troubled showing. He was eventually classified fourth despite claiming more fastest stage times than any of his rivals.

Ketomaa’s manager Kim Vatanen, who also represents Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier, revealed negotiations had been held with Prodrive with a view of driving a MINI John Cooper Works WRC before an agreement was reached with M-Sport to pilot a Fiesta.

“We chose the offer from Ford as team director Malcolm Wilson informed his desire to have another Finnish driver behind the wheel of a Fiesta RS WRC,” Ketomaa explained.

Ketomaa emerged as a contender on the global stage with several impressive performances in the Production Car World Rally Championship in 2008, finishing third in the final standings. Funding issues limited his WRC appearances in 2009 although he did manage to put together a programme for Rally Finland, where he finished a fine seventh overall at the wheel of an ageing Subaru Impreza WRC.

He will prepare for the event by contesting Rally Estonia, which takes place two weeks before, in MML Sports’ R4-specification Mitsubishi Lancer.

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