Tuohino Signed By Skoda
Skoda has confirmed that Janne Tuohino will join its regular star Armin Schwarz for next month's Rally New Zealand, after the team decided to change its original plans and replace Jani Paasonen.

Although Tuohino has not driven the New Zealand event before, and Paasonen set a fastest stage time on last year's event when driving for Mitsubishi, the latter's disappointing form in the recent Rally Mexico is understood to have been the catalyst for the team making the change.

Paasonen hit a rock during the Mexico shakedown, forcing an engine change for Skoda, and then crashed out of the event on the second stage - at the very time that the Czech manufacturer is in desperate need for points.

Martin Muehlmeier, the head of Skoda's Motorsport World Rally Team, said: "This was a tactical decision to change our original entry. We saw in Mexico that the new Fabia WRC 05 has greater potential than the previous model but we were still unable to finish the rally with a result that truly reflected its performance.

"In Armin and Janne we have two very experienced drivers and we will be looking to them to make good use of that experience on an event that should suit our car."

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