Mercedes' driver Valtteri Bottas will add his name to a long list of accomplished Finnish stars to have taken part in the Arctic Lapland Rally this coming January.
Bottas, fresh off the back of a very difficult season with the dominant Mercedes outfit in Grand Prix racing, will make his rally debut behind the wheel of a WRC specification Ford Focus WRC on the January 24-26 Artic Lapland rally, taking over the controls of a top level rally car very similar in specification to that of reigning WRC champion and current dominant rally driver Sebastien Ogier.
Bottas was understandably pleased to get his 2019 racing season off to an early start in January, even if the choice of car is a little different than his usual mount:
“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying, and I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible,” said Bottas.
“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”
With little in the way of experience behind the wheel in WRC style machinery, Bottas has been teamed up with the vastly experienced Timo Rautiainen, World Champion co-driver to the legendary Marcus Gronholm during the dominant years of the Finnish driver in the early 2000's.