Joni Turpeinen is taking Supercar by storm


After Lukas Andersson in Supercar Lites last year and Oliver Solberg at the wheel of the Citroen DS3 for the 2017 season, the RallyX championship has just added another top-class talent in Joni Turpeinen.

No other series can boast so much pure talent as the RallyX championship. In 2023, CrossCar Junior graduate Lukas Andersson already beat the odds by winning the first two races of the championship at the age of 15.

This time, a few years after Oliver Solberg at the same level of the sport, it was Joni Turpeinen who thrilled the rallycross world at the Tierp Arena last weekend.

At just 15 years of age, the man who was still competing in the Junior CrossCar class in 2023 (7th overall) proved once again how much the category has established itself as a natural reserve of real talent. Sixth in last year’s Finnish junior championship, he had already impressed in the Autocross category by finishing runner-up in the Finnish rallycross championship the same season.

After two rounds in the RallyX championship last weekend, Joni Turpeinen is now third in the Open 4WD Pro overall standings behind Kristoffersson and Veiby, and just two points behind Martin Enlund in the Pro Am category.

In addition to two podium finishes in the last few hours, the young Finn used Race 2 to show off his impressive skills.

Second in the intermediate standings behind Johan Kristoffersson thanks to a second fastest time in Q1 and a fourth fastest time in Q2, a new Top 3 finish allowed him to ward off the threat of a possible return of OC Veiby following the Norwegian’s disqualification in Q1.

In Tierp, Turpeinen simply set the third fastest lap of the weekend behind the two VW Polo KMS. From Q1 to the semi-final, the Finn never left the top 3 in terms of pure speed.

A performance that delighted the young Finn, who proved to be the real star of the first weekend of the season.

“I’m very happy with my results,” said Joni on Saturday evening.

At the wheel of the ex-MSport Ford Fiesta, which has been driven by Niclas Gronholm, Reinis Nitiss, Mikko Ikonen and Juha Rytkonen, Joni Turpeinen had limited experience with the car.

“We just came here to gain experience. This is my very first race with this car and to be honest I don’t know what to say because I’m so surprised by my performance. Before this weekend we’d only done two days of testing. Suffice it to say that my experience was very limited. I wasn’t expecting anything like this.

However, Joni is well aware that he is far from having reached his own limits.

“Throughout the weekend my speed was good, but I think we can still do better. Nevertheless, to have the privilege of competing against Johan Kristoffersson, Ole-Christian Veiby and all these great drivers is a real honour for me.

Having only signed up for the first two races of the 2024 season at Tierp and at his home circuit in Kouvola at the end of May, Joni Turpeinen is now considering the possibility of changing his approach.

“Normally we’d only take part in the first two rounds of the championship, but it’s certain that our performances this weekend will encourage us to think about what’s next by adding more races to our schedule. I’m only 15 years old and I didn’t expect to come home with two podiums from my very two first races”

One thing is for sure: unlike Oliver Solberg, whose decision to turn to rallying was a clear trend from the beginning, Joni Turpeinen’s situation is different.

“Actually, I want to stay in rallycross for the simple reason that my mum doesn’t want me to go into rallying,” smiles Joni.

“She wants me to continue with motorsport in a safe environment. Now we’re going to concentrate on Kouvola, but there’s no pressure on me and I’m not going into this race with any particular expectations. Of course, we’re always thinking about winning, but I know there’s still a long way to go.

Fast, clear-headed and humble, there is no doubt that the former CrossCar Junior driver has not yet revealed the full extent of his talents…