Valtteri Bottas will make his rally debut at the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship next month, driving a WRC spec Ford Fiesta. The Finn will compete in the Arctic Lapland Rally alongside co-driver Timo Rautiainen, who is coming out of retirement to compete with Bottas.
"In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge," said Espoo-born Rautiainen, who won two world championships between 1995 and 2007 with Marcus Gronholm.
"I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing," he added. "The challenging part, of course, will be learning the ins and outs of pace note making and learning to drive with pace notes all at once."
The Arctic Lapland Rally takes place on January 24th - 25th, 2019. Bottas will be getting behind the wheel of the same spec car that Sebastian Ogier took his last two WRC titles in.
"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," Bottas said. "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."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing