More recognition for ERC Junior runner-up Huttunen
Jari Huttunen, who will step up to the FIA World Rally Championship WRC2 category in 2018 after finishing runner-up in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship this season, has received yet more recognition.
He is one of 15 drivers selected for the AKK Driver Academy, the Finnish federation-backed initiative designed to nurture rising talents.
“The AKK Driver Academy has been an important long-term support of my career,” said Huttunen, who stepped up from national to international level in 2017 as his prize for winning the Germany-based ADAC Opel Rallye Cup the previous year. “Without it, I probably would not have been able to overcome the challenges I’ve faced as a driver. The coaching has had wide-spread benefits and it has helped me make progress in all areas
Huttunen’s performances in the ERC in 2017 brought him to the attention of Hyundai Motorsport Team Manager Alain Penasse, who selected him for the Hyundai Motorsport driver Development Programme (HMDP) for 2018 when the 23-year-old Finn will contest a WRC2 campaign in a Hyundai i20 R5 alongside a testing campaign.
His co-driver, Antti Linnaketo, is also part of the AKK Driver Academy for 2018, along with two promising Finnish rallying talents, Henri Hokkala, 23, and Aleksi Röyhkiö, 17.
Former European champion Esapekka Lappi is a AKK Driver Academy graduate.