From Ron Salter [ 24/06/2004 ].
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Jani Paasonen will drive a third official Škoda Fabia WRC on Rally Finland (August 6-8) alongside Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team regular drivers Toni Gardemeister and Armin Schwarz. Jani is currently contesting the 2004 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship but, as Finland is not a qualifying round, he is free to assist the team to gain maximum test miles on the WRC’s fastest and most specialised event. Jani said: “I’m very happy to have this chance and I want to get the best result possible for the team. The car looks good and I will drive it for the first time next week. I’ll go to watch Toni at the Exide Rally (July 3) and we will see then how the car performs on Finnish roads.”
Head of Škoda Motorsport, Martin Muehlmeier, said: “We are not putting any pressure on Jani but we want him to drive safely as well as quickly. We want to gather as much data as possible from this event and entering three cars is the best way to achieve this.”
The Czech team have also confirmed that Roman Kresta will make a popular return to the squad, driving the third Fabia WRC at the Rallye Deutschland, also in August. Kresta impressed on his outings during the 2003 World Championship behind the wheel of a Bozian 206 WRC.