Albatec confirms Finnish champion Jere Kalliokoski for Euro RX
Dumfries, Scotland (UK) — Thursday 10 November, 2016; Finnish Rallycross Champion Jere Kalliokoski will join Albatec Racing’s burgeoning stable of drivers for an assault on the 2017 FIA European Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The Finn will take the wheel of one of the Dumfries team’s 600bhp Peugeot 208 RX Supercars in the five round series which kicks off in Spain next April.
The announcement comes following a successful test in Dreux last month where the 19 year-old from Alahärmä, completed ten runs in the #26 two-litre, 16v car at the French track.
Jere started his racing career in karting in 2007 and made his rallycross debut in 2014, finishing seventh in the Kouvola round of RX Lites. The following year Jere contested Finnish autocross, where he finished fifth, before moving into Supercars in 2016.
This season, the teenager quickly established himself as a serious championship contender against a quality field, and clinched the title with a third place finish in the final round in Tampere.
The five round Euro RX gets underway in Barcelona, Spain on 1/2 April, and also takes in rounds at Norway (Hell) 10/11 June, Sweden (Höljes) 1/2 July, France (Lohéac) 2/3 September and Latvia (Riga) 16/17 September.
Andy Scott, Team Principal Albatec Racing :
“I’m very excited about Jere joining Albatec, it’s great to be bringing fresh young talent into Euro RX at such an early age. He will I’m sure be an asset to the team and will hopefully have a great future in RX. His recent test at Dreux was successful and I was very impressed with his mature approach. I’m sure with more seat time he will be a strong contender and the whole team will work hard to bring him success.
“I’m also incredibly excited about the 2017 Euro RX schedule that IMG have introduced, which brings together a great mixture of three classic rallycross tracks, Hell, Höljes and Lohéac, as well as two of the newest tracks to RX in Barcelona and Riga. It looks like being a fantastic season.”
Atte Varsta, General Manager Albatec Racing :
“Finland has produced multiple rallying and racing world champions. Jere has the potential to be on that list in the future. Despite his young age we realised how mature and professional he was in his approach and capability to adapt his driving style to our Peugeot 208 RX Supercar. Next year will be a big step and challenge for Jere but I believe he will shine with our team.”
Jere Kalliokoski, driver Albatec Racing :
“It feels great to announce my decision to compete in Euro RX with Albatec. It’s a big step forward but Albatec is a top level, experienced and professional RX team competing in different international series, which has proved itself over the past two seasons. My compatriot Atte [Varsta] working for the team as general manager, made the decision easy and assists the big step onto the international stage.
“The recent test went very well. My approach was to learn and get a good feeling for the car. I did ten runs and between them we made small set up changes. Every time I went out I was faster and did my best lap on a last run. The Peugeot 208 RX Supercar is a modern, top league RX car with all bells and whistles and lots of power and driveability, it feels really good and there is more to come. I just need more seat time to make it more suitable to my driving style.
“The Finnish RX Championship this year was a tight battle until the last race, all the races were close with fierce battles from the very start to the end. I feel that this year I mentally grew a lot. I learned to focus on racing and shut everything else out of my mind. That will certainly help me next year in Euro RX. It’s a big step for me and I don’t have any false illusions that competition will be the toughest that I have faced so far. It will be my first in international competition, I’m only 19 and have time to learn the necessary tricks, but my target is to learn step by step and do my best. For sure I’m there to win but at the same time I need to be realistic. My long term goal is to win the World Championship title some day and there is no short cut to achieve that!”