Jari Ketomaa is set for an extended World Rally Championship programme in 2012 on the back of an impressive performance on Rally Finland.
On his first outing in a Fiesta RS WRC, Ketomaa topped the times on the opening stage in Finland – which was the longest of the event – and ran towards the front of the field throughout before crashing out on SS8.
However, the Finn's performance was good enough to impress Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson who said he would like to have Ketomaa in a Fiesta again next season.
“I thought he drove extremely well through the first couple of stages,” Wilson told the official WRC website. “He was unfortunate where he went off, but he certainly showed some good pace. We're talking about some rallies next year and, of course, we'd be happy to work with him - he's a talented driver.”
Ketomaa himself said he was hopeful of at least one more outing in the Fiesta this season with work ongoing to secure the funding needed for an expanded programme next year.
“I worked very hard to get the drive in Finland, so I am very disappointed with what happened,” he said. “Some people were asking me if I regret slowing down at the end of the second stage to take a better position on the road for Friday, but I don't at all. I made a good time on the first stage - Lankamaa is my favourite stage - and then I thought it would be better to slow for day two. Maybe I could have led overnight, but I couldn't think to that.
“My sponsors were happy with what I did, I think very happy. We made some good publicity for them on the television in Finland and this is going to help them. Hopefully, I am trying to do Rallye de France later this year as well, but my main focus is to get a six-rally programme for next season. I'm working really hard to make that happen in a Fiesta RS WRC. There is some more work to do, but the early results in Finland will help.”