Kovalainen linked to Arctic Rally drive

Recently signed Lotus Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has been linked to a drive on the Arctic Rally, using a Proton Satria Neo S2000

Kovalainen linked to Arctic Rally drive

Lotus is owned by Proton and the Finn was present at the Malaysian firm's Kuala Lumpar headquarters on Tuesday this week, where he sat in the Satria Neo S2000. Sources close to Proton have admitted a Kovalainen entry on next month's Rovaniemi-based event has been talked about.

If it does come off, this would offer Finnish rally fans the mouth-watering prospect of seeing Kovalainen competing against Kimi Raikkonen - the latter making his first public appearance in a Citroen C4 on the snow event.

Kovalainen is a big rally fan and has already tested a Citroen C4 WRC, when he and Sebastien Loeb swapped cars for a publicity stunt in 2007.

AUTOSPORT's source said: "Heikki is here to drive in Formula 1. That's why he was in Malaysia. But, maybe there is a chance for the rally car. He went and sat in the car and he was very excited about it.

"It would be a great story, but at the moment no discussions have taken place at all. He would need permission, the rally is dangerous, there is a lot of speculation on this - and that's all it is right now. Nothing is agreed."

The Satria Neo S2000, built in Britain by MEM, was in Malaysia for Alister McRae to complete a series of demonstration runs for the Proton board of directors. Once the Scot had completed his driving in a forest stage around the Sepang circuit, the car was taken to Proton's centre of excellence, where Kovalainen asked to see it and then sit in it.

MEM team principal Chris Mellors said: "Heikki was very interested in the rally car and it would be great if we could put something together [for the Arctic Rally]."

Mellors confirmed there would be a car available for the F1 star, should the deal come together.

"I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem," said Mellors.

The Satria Neo S2000 recently collected its best ever finish, when McRae placed the car second on the final round of last year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Rally of Scotland.

shares
comments
Pagenaud switches to Highcroft

Previous article

Pagenaud switches to Highcroft

Next article

Grapevine: Competition offers gamers a GT drive

Grapevine: Competition offers gamers a GT drive
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020