WRC 2 challenger Jari Ketomaa is preparing to jump into an R5-specificaiton Mitsubishi for this month's Vaakuna Rally.
The event will mark the three-time Finnish rally champion's debut competitive outing with the former WRC heavyweight manufacturer having tested the car in both the UK and Sweden.
The Vaakuna Rally takes place on the 26-27 February and hosts the second round of the Finnish rally championship and Ketomaa sees his home event in Mikkeli as the ideal place to test the car's capabilities in a race situation.
“I was impressed with the Mitsubishi the very first time I drove it,” Ketomaa said. “We did a winter test a couple of weeks ago in Sweden and it felt fantastic. It's a great all-round package and responds very well to changes in set up, so it wasn't long before we were able to get it working perfectly. It's one of the best car's I've ever driven on snow.”
Ketomaa has finished on the rostrum on three separate occasions in the Vaakuna Rally, while also taking two Group N victories in the past ten years.
“I feel confident with the car and I know the Mikelli event well. Tomas [Weng, team manager] and his team have done such an incredible job designing and creating the Mitsubishi, they deserve a good result and I shall do the best I can to achieve this."
Mitsubishi claimed the 1998 World Rally Championship manufacturer title with the Lancer Evolution V/IV with Tommi Makinen, but withdrew as a manufacturer effort at the end of the 2002 season.
The Japanese manufacturer returned to WRC as a manufacturer in 2004 and 2005 before withdrawing from the international series completely at the end of 2007.