Henri Hokkala can count on advice from Jari Huttunen and Teemu Suninen when he makes his FIA World Rally Championship debut as the Future Rally Star of Finland.
Huttunen and Suninen are among the previous recipients of the prize from AKK Sports, the promotional arm of Finland’s motorsport federation and organiser of Neste Rally Finland, which hands the winner a fully-funded drive in the Junior WRC category of the Jyväskylä-based event.
Suninen, the first Future Rally Star of Finland in 2014, said winning the prize had been instrumental in him becoming an established member of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team line-up.
“You are only once driving for the first time and it’s the time and the place to give everything you can so [Henri] must do this now. After my [WRC3] win here in 2014 I get the email from Toyota because they saw my result and invited me to their shootout [for a 2015 world championship campaign]. This is where my career started and you know the next part of the story.”
Huttunen, who followed Suninen as the 2015 winner, said: “Even though I had quite a bad rally the prize was very important and I knew some day I would be driving here [in the world championship]. My advice to [Henri] is just keep calm.”