Tue 18 Apr 2023

Next career step a dream, says new Junior ERC driver Jalava

Miko Jalava will swap rear-wheel-drive Toyotas for a shot at FIA Junior ERC Championship glory in 2023.

The 26-year-old Finn has completed a “dream come true” deal to drive in the European Rally Championship’s young driver category after he won the junior title in his homeland last season.

He has joined Czech team Sparrow Racing and will pilot a Ford Fiesta Rally4 alongside co-driver and fellow Finn Riikka Hokkanen, 35.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to share the news about the next step in my career,” said Jalava. “We still have a lot on the to-do list from this moment to the first event, but the most important part is done, registering an entry for the championship and finding a car. ERC has been gaining a lot of momentum recently, and thus we made the move.

“We had a chance to try the Rally4 a bit on the Czech tarmac, and it felt easy to drive and competitive. There’s a lot to learn with the new car, but luckily the first three events are gravel rallies, which is more familiar to me.

“Sparrow Racing had a positive impression on me. They have experience in hundreds of events and are truly professional and it shows too. I'm happy to be working with them.”

Next month’s Junior ERC season-opening ORLEN 79 Rally Poland will mark Jalava’s first event outside Finland and the driver from Mäntyharju has been eager to show his gratitude.

“A massive thank you for everyone who has been a part of this project. Without their wide and lengthy support, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete in ERC. They have always pushed me forward and I’m thankful for it. Competing in ERC is a dream come true for me, and a great opportunity for the future.”

Roberto Daprà, Mille Johansson, Max McRae and René Noller will be among Jalava’s rivals for Junior ERC success this season.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM