Riku Tahko’s team next year will launch a new R4-class Mini Cooper S R4 racing car in the SM-series rally. In the first season, the car will be leased for other drivers and in the season 2020 Tahko will actually jump on it.
Riku Tahko, 34, has been prominent in the eyes of the general public in recent years as rallicross driver, but the roots of Porvoo are strong on the rally side. Teemu Tahko’s dad was actively racing in Finland and Teemu’s CV has one of the class wins in Finland’s World Championship. Riku drove his first rally in 2004 and in season 2012 SM1-class SM bronze was hung on his neck.
Next year Tahko’s team will bring the new Mini Cooper S R4 racing car to the SM series. The car should be ready in January and its first Kouvola rally in February is scheduled for its first race. However, Tahko himself does not fall behind the wheel at this stage in the competition.
– The car will first be offered to competitors for rent. We try to get the car to the Kouvola already in the SM2 class. This requires that we get good test results from the car during January. The car’s refinement lies in the fact that forward-looking drivers get it at lower costs with an idea of what is required to drive a R5 car, Tahko describes.
Tahko participated this year in the rally SM-season opening competition in Rovaniemi. Before that, Tahko had competed in the rally last season in the 2014 season, driving three SM-races on the Mini Cooper S2000 until he changed to rallycross and EM series. This year, Tahko drove for the first time in his career with the full SM-rally race and the rankings in the Supercar-class SM end points were third.
Next season, Tahko will also run the Rally Championship in the SM series, but in the 2020 season all the weight is on the rally side and specifically in driving. The preliminary program includes the SM Series and the Finnish World Championship.
– Me and no one else can say if my last 2020 is an active competitor. Motivation is still at its peak. Anyway, before cessation of time, at least the season rally. 2020 is also the 70th anniversary celebration of the Finnish World Championship. It would be an honor to be there, Tahko admitted.