The 17-year-old rally talent Mille Johansson from Sweden, this weekend run his first rally of the year, when he and co-driver Julia Thulin take part in the Finnish championship premiere Arctic Lapland Rally in Rovaniemi, north of the Arctic Circle.
At the end of last week, the news was presented that Mille, together with double World Champion Pontus Tidemand, is part of the reigning Swedish champion team GN Motorsport, who will manage their two-wheel drive Ford Fiesta Rally4 during the rally. The Arctic Lapland Rally will be their first event together. During the week, Mille and Julia drove through the 11 stages that make up the rally to write their pace notes.
– It will be fun to drive in Finland for the first time, and the first winter competition for me with pace notes. All the stages are unique, and the competition measures 245 km of special stages, which will be the longest competition I have started, says Mille, who due to his young age is only allowed to drive the special stages, and then hand over the wheel to Julia during the transports.
– The stages are long and fast, with some sections that will be very bad as there is no ice bottom. This rally will be really fun to drive. We are here to collect kilometers and experience. We will increase the pace as much as possible, when I feel safe in the car and trust the notes.
The Arctic Lapland Rally starts on Friday 13/1 with five stages, the longest of which is almost 4o km. On Saturday 14/1, the remaining six stages will be run with the finish in Rovaniemi at 19 local time. A total of 14 cars line up in the class, where they are set against teammate Adam Grahn, WRC-team Toyota’s three Japanese juniors, and Finnish F1-World Champion Kimi Räikkönen’s nephew Justus.