Finnish Printsport’s large fleet includes more than twenty FABIA Rally2 cars, and its partnership with ŠKODA Motorsport has lasted for almost two decades. It is thanks to the activities of this team that ŠKODA has such a strong position in the Nordic countries, where rallying is a national sport. Read more about Printsport Racing in our interview with team owner Eero Räikönen.
Could you introduce us to the story behind Printsport Racing and the origin of the name?
The history of the team is quite long, as it began 23 years ago, when I was making cars for my own rallying. People in the rally world noticed me quite quickly and they started to ask me for some parts and support. In 2012, we cooperated with Esapekka Lappi, and due to his successes in the Finnish Championship we started to be very well known. Speaking about Esapekka, we were very proud that he became the 2016 WRC World Champion with the ŠKODA Motorsport factory team. Although the team is now much bigger, we are still working closely as we are a tight team – and actually, I think that this is one of the keys to our success. Regarding the story behind the name of the team – my father had a printing company, so it came to my mind that it would fit into the name of the team.
What are the main activities of your team?
Well, our business includes a wide range of activities, mostly focused on rally. We have rallying deep in our DNA; our team is based a couple of kilometres from the finish of the Ruuhimaki stage, which serves as the Neste Rally Finland’s Power Stage. We sell spare parts and rent rally cars to private drivers, and we provide service and engineering for the rally cars as well. And of course I can’t forget our activities which help with driver development. Basically, a driver can just buy the car and we supply them everything around it.
How many employees do you have?
We currently have 11 fulltime employees.
In which countries are you active?
I would say we are active all around the world although the major part of our activities take place in Scandinavia.
How was last year for you?
Despite the impact of the global pandemic, we didn’t stop our activities and our customers/drivers started dozens of times in various events. We have also done many tests. There is always space for little improvements; therefore, testing is always needed.
Which success with the FABIA Rally2 makes you the most proud?
We achieved a lot of wins and podiums with our FABIA cars. Jari Huttunen won a WRC2 category in Neste Rally Finland 2017 and that was a result we are really proud of; another of his great results is the first ever overall top time on WRC on a real forest stage in Rally Sweden 2019. Ole Christian Veiby’s Rally Poland 2017 overall WRC2 category win was also a major success for our team. A lot of happy and emotional memories.
Is there something that you would like to achieve in the future?
There isn’t any particular rally which we would like to win, so our wish is simply for successful rallies with happy drivers.
Could you introduce us your previous and current drivers with FABIA Rally2?
Our previous drivers are Ole Christian Veiby, Jari Huttunen, Esapekka Lappi, Lukasz Pieniazek, Emil Lindholm and many other good ones. Last year we have been cooperating with Juha Salo, Jukka Kasi, Jussi Keskiniva and others.
You have been cooperating with ŠKODA Motorsport since 2012 – that’s pretty long. Why did you decide on ŠKODA Motorsport, and how would you evaluate the cooperation?
We are super happy about the competitiveness and reliability of the FABIA Rally2. These two aspects are key for success in customer rallying. There is no doubt about that. We also appreciate the wide range of customer support from the ŠKODA team. Starting with the very flexible logistics of spare parts and ending with the engineer’s consultancy and setup tips. This really helps us to provide better services for our customers.
You own both versions of the FABIA Rally2 - what are the biggest differences from your point of view?
To be honest both versions are great cars and from my point of view it’s the driver who makes the difference between two of these.
Are you using any aftersales services provided by ŠKODA Motorsport?
Sure! We regularly use engine revision and we are very satisfied with the reliability and power of the engines.
Last but not least, tell us – Why the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2?
It’s a fast and reliable car, and on top of that ŠKODA Motorsport is providing excellent customer service. It’s a pleasure to see our customers and drivers satisfied, that’s what makes us the happiest.