SportNutiset.com met the rally ten times at the Juha Salon Hanaa Expo in Lahti, Finland.
Season 2018 was Juha Salo, 42, one of the most difficult, if not the toughest, career. During the 2015 and 2016 rally in the SM-Series, the Salo for the first time in the Finnish Peugeot 208 T16 car Championship was left for the first time for 13 years without a general competition prize money when the Skoda drivers went past both from the left and right. Salon’s best competition this year was Fifth, which was won by the Karkila player in the Kouvola, Seinäjoki and Turku Salon competitions.
– Those places where this year was run, so they do not satisfy us, Salo stresses.
In the last two races of the season, in the area of Turku and Salon, Salo did not start with the well-known Peugeot, but below was Skoda Fabia R5 rented by Eero Räikkönen from Printsport. The car in which the rally SM series this year was running 21 of the overall prize winnings 19 that were on offer. Signaali Salon was clear at this point, the active racing rally would not be over yet, but the look had already been turned towards 2019.
– Obviously, it was something new to invent, to challenge new challenges and thus to try to get back to the fiercest top fight. To see if it is up to the car or the man, Salo smiles.
According to the salon, when he started at Turku and Salo’s SM-rally in Skoda, he still did not know if he would run in 2019 in Skoda or any other brand. When Skoda was in use at Skoda, it was Printsport and just Printsport had ordered Volkswagen’s new Polo GTI R5 cars to be the first in Finland, so the rumor attempted to plant Salo with the new Polo next year.
– Of course it was one of the options, but it should have been a bank to rob somebody, Salo laughs.
– Yes this (Skoda) the most sensible option in this point was. However, I have no support from the importer.
Juha Salo at the Skoda Rally in Turku and Salon SM rally in late September (Photo: Jari Hotti).
“The time for a tight ridge here is in front”
Skoda will not be the same car she used to ride in the last SM racer of the season, but the next-season racing driver was in a few races with Printsport via Polish driver Lukasz Pieniazek in the World Series of Rally.
– It’s the 2017 model car, relatively fresh, and now it’s still new technology and comes with the latest updates, Salo backs up.
Salona’s old Peugeot will continue to be seen on Suomen rallit, Erkka Korpiaho’s hands. Korpiah had to drive with that Peugeot at the Turku-Salon SM Rally, but during the weekend before the competition, the Maltress in the test car carved the car so badly that it was impossible to compete. In the autumn, Korpiaho bought a car from Salo in his own garage.
The Rally SM-Series 2019 Launch Contest Competition will be held in the Rovaniemi neighborhood on January last weekend. Before that, Salo knows that the program has tests on a new car.
– It’s a pretty tight time here, when you have to get miles below that we’re actually ready at Tunturiralli. In the future, with Printsport, more and more, it facilitates many things. Yes, I am quite ready, not regarding anything. To get one more horns, Salo refers to the reindeer herd given to the winner pair in the Tunturiralli.
In which Printsport operates in Lievestuore in central Finland, Salo stays in Karkkila, southern Finland. According to the salon, tests will be likely to run in Lievestuore and Karkkila during the season.
– In our own corner, we have good roads available especially during winter. At Independence Day, it was supposed to run a test in Lapland, but when it comes to what is, then it would have been quite unnecessary to go there.
As a map reader, Topi Luhtinen, who was sitting for the first time in Salo’s saloon and at the Tunturiralli this year’s showroom, continues. Salon’s goal for the upcoming season with the SM series is clear:
Juha Salo’s Finnish Championships in the Rally
1996 – Young (Toyota Starlet)
2002 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII)
2004 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII)
2005 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII MR)
2008 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
2010 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
2011 – N Group (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4)
2013 – SM1 category (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4)
2015 – SM1 class (Peugeot 208 T16)
2016 – SM1 class (Peugeot 208 T16)