KALLIOMAKI BOLSTERS METTET ENTRY AS TROGEN WAITS IN WINGS
Jami Kalliomäki is aiming to make his mark in the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires in 2018, as the talented Finnish teenager prepares to take to the track with SET Promotion.
From a background competing in crosskarts and karting at both Finnish and North European Zone Championship level – tallying a number of titles along the way – Kalliomäki graduated to the RX Academy last season, claiming a maiden podium finish in the Kouvola finale to secure an impressive third spot in the drivers’ standings.
Earlier this year, the 18-year-old stepped up to Supercar Lites machinery in RallyX on Ice, turning heads with an eye-catching performance at Höljes in Sweden that saw him fight his way into the final in only his second weekend in the car, despite feeling distinctly under the weather. He concluded the campaign placed a commendable 11th out of 24 in the title table and is now aiming to put the experience he gained on the snow to good use during the summer season in RX2.
“I’m really excited,” he enthused. “It will be a lot of fun to compete at the same events as the World Championship. My team-mates are both clearly good drivers, so hopefully I can improve by looking at where they are faster and help them where I am faster, so we can get even better as a team. RallyX On Ice helped me a lot, because I’m much more used to four wheel-drive and the driving style now. It’s quite different to what I’ve done before, but I like the challenge.”
From Silverstone onwards, Kalliomäki and team-mate Simon Syversen will be joined in the SET awning by the highly-rated Sami-Matti Trogen, who only turns 16 on the Sunday of the Mettet curtain-raiser so is not eligible to compete until round two. The younger Finn was one of the stars of the show in the RX Academy on Ice, winning at Gol en route to fourth in the overall classification, and SET Team Principal Jussi Pinomäki is convinced that his squad’s three-strong line-up can be a force to be reckoned with over the coming months.
“I’m really pleased with the drivers we have in RX2 this season,” he affirmed. “Jami learnt a lot in the RX Academy last year, which will prove vital in his first season in RX2. The single-make nature of the RX Academy means the racing is very close and the level is high, which is perfect preparation for competing in RX2. The first goal for our drivers is to make the semi-finals, of course, but I think we can expect to see them fighting for places in the final very quickly.”
The 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will take in seven rounds across three continents in support of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, visiting Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, France and South Africa.
2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires Calendar
May 12/13 Mettet, Belgium
May 26/27 Silverstone, Great Britain
June 09/10 Hell, Norway
June 30/July 01 Höljes, Sweden
August 04/05 Trois-Rivières, Canada
September 01/02 Lohéac, France
November 24/25 Cape Town, South Africa