Ismo already hooked by his RallyX experience

The internationally renowned Finnish comedian took advantage of the RallyX Championship’s visit to Kouvola to get behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla in the Open 2WD category. But Ismo Leikola didn’t stop at driving…

Winner of the Funniest Man in the World competition in 2014, Ismo has since established himself as a key figure in the world of comedy. Last weekend in Finland, however, his millions of digital followers were able to see Ismo Leikola in a completely different context.

“I only discovered rallycross a few months before the 2023 event in Kouvola,” Ismo recalls.

“I had the chance to go to a Nitrocross round in Los Angeles and that’s how I met Andreas Eriksson. I enjoyed the event so much that I even decided to try again in the RallyX championship in 2023. And I have to admit that as I watched the cars go by, I thought it would be a nice experience to get behind the wheel for a few laps. That’s when Andreas started pushing me to do a real race. That’s how we got in touch again a few weeks ago and were able to make this project a reality. ”

Although the sporting aspect was of course secondary for the Finnish comedian, he makes no secret of the fact that he has enjoyed every moment of his RallyX Championship experience.

“I didn’t have a chance to train before the weekend in Kouvola. Inevitably, this meant that I had a few spins at the beginning of the weekend, but that’s no big deal. It was only my first rallycross race and I really enjoyed it. I learnt a lot and my learning curve has only got better as I even managed to win one of my qualifying sessions. ”

Totally immersed in his weekend with Miko Ikonen’s team, the actor even stayed in the Kouvola paddock until the early hours of Saturday morning to assist the Betomik Racing team mechanics who had come to help Kim Roar Johansen get his gearbox back into working order.

“I stayed with the team until three in the morning. Even though I know absolutely nothing about gearboxes, I was interested to see how they were doing and how they were working as a team. I’m not an expert in mechanics, but I learned a lot. One thing is for sure, I’m going to stick to driving as far as motorsport is concerned. Although I studied physics for four years at university, it was more theory than practice and I still don’t feel like a mechanic,’ laughs Ismo.

“In fact, the weekend gave me some ideas for sketches and jokes related to the rallycross environment, but to be honest, I was there mainly to relax and enjoy my weekend. Actually, I had a final performance on Friday evening which prevented me from taking part in the first free practice. When I got to the paddock, I really wanted to put the comedy aside and concentrate on motorsport. Ever since I was a kid, my dream was to get behind the wheel of a real racing car. That’s what I’ve been able to do at Kouvola and I’m very happy about it.

One thing is for sure, this first rallycross experience could be followed by others for Ismo.

“I like this Open 2WD category and I think I’ll do more races with these cars in the future. Of course I’d also like to try a four-wheel drive car, but a Supercar, for example, looks a lot more complex with a lot more things to remember. What’s more, I really enjoyed driving the Toyota this weekend. It was the perfect car to start with. The only thing I had to remember was the position of the windscreen wiper controls. Admittedly, it’s not so easy to make a good start as I’m still lacking experience, but I suppose these are things that come with time.”