The Future Rally Star of Finland 2016, Juuso Nordgren, beat off competition from two other young hopefuls to win a fully-funded drive on his country’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Nordgren won through following the final assessment where his reconnaissance and pacenote-making skills, mental strength, physical fitness and ability to give an interview in English were put to the test under the watchful eye of various industry experts and a five-person jury.
In readiness for his Future Rally Star of Finland opportunity, Nordgren got a one-day test in the Citroen. He also received additional training from Jukka Korhonen and Matti Rantanen, both of whom have showed plenty of speed in Finland in the past.
Jani Backman, the Neste Rally Finland promoter who has been involved in deciding all the previous award winners, said after the announcement: “In the end, it wasn’t such a difficult decision. Juuso impressed all the judges with his performance in each one of the tests. Of course, there was a very high level, which is always the case with this award. But I think we knew that Juuso was looking strong from quite an early point.”
It was a succesful debut for Nordgren in the WRC, by coming third in his class (JWRC) in Rally Finland 2016. Young driver talent followed the previous Future Rally Star of Finland winners, including Teemu Suninen (2014) and Jari Huttunen (2015).
Juuso Nordgren, driver profile:
Date of birth: 19 November 1996
Place of birth: Karkkila
Career summary: 2015 Finnish Junior Champion
Two-time winner of the R2 class in Finland this year
Usual rally car: Peugeot 208 R2
Rallying hero: Sebastien Loeb – the best at everything. In racing, Ayrton Senna.
Did you know? Markku Alen and nine-time Finnish champion Juha Salo also come from Karkkila.