Finnish crew secure title at Rally Monza*
In a remarkable end to a rallying year with our i20 R5, Jari Huttunen has been crowned the 2020 FIA WRC 3 drivers’ champion.
The WRC 3 title completes an excellent season for Jari and his co-driver Mikka Lukka, who boast an impressive record of finishing on the class podium in every single event contested with our i20 R5 this year.
Heading into the final event of the 2020 WRC season, Rally Monza, the Finns trailed the lead of the WRC 3 category by just two points. Despite tricky wintry conditions, Jari and Mikka performed consistently to come home in third and claim the WRC 3 crown.
“It is an amazing feeling to win the WRC 3 drivers’ title,” said an emotional Jari. “I have to thank my team, our sponsors and everyone who was helping me. It has been incredible to drive the i20 R5 this season and we have had an almost perfect year. I really can’t say more, I am lost for words.”
“It is easy to overuse words like ‘remarkable’, but Jari’s 2020 season has been exactly that,” said Customer Racing Operations Leader Andrew Johns. “He has taken podiums every time he has started a rally with the i20 R5 this year, and this pace and consistency has been rightfully rewarded. They have clearly been one of the strongest crews throughout the season.”
Starting as they meant to go on
The pair began its journey to the title in the best possible way. They secured a class win in Rally Sweden as the highest-placed R5 crew, and finished tenth overall in February’s event.
This form continued when WRC resumed with Rally Estonia, where they finished second in their i20 R5, adorned with the colours of Hyundai Poland Racing. This partnership would go on to win the Polish national rally championship in dominant fashion.
Jari and Mikko claimed a second class win of the season at Rally Italia Sardegna in October, where they demonstrated their raw pace as well as confirming the performance and reliability of the car. The Finnish crew not only eclipsed their fellow WRC 3 competitors, but also all of the WRC 2 entrants, and finished in a superb eighth overall.
This result closed the gap to the championship leaders and put the crew in prime position to challenge for the title event at Rally Monza. It was there that they secured two WRC 3 stage wins and equalled their season-best finish of eighth overall – once again beating WRC 2 competitors in the classification.
Andrew concluded: “Not only have they beaten their rivals in other privateer WRC 3 teams, but have also shown the pace to compete with crews contesting WRC 2. It was fantastic to have Jari, Mikko and the Hyundai Poland Racing team celebrating on the podium at the final event. The WRC 3 title is the perfect testament to their incredible achievements this year.”
*subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA