Finnish Co-driver Enni Mälkönen - the first ever woman to win a championship title in the World Rally Championship - will switch to Printsport Racing in a new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 for the 2024 campaign in WRC2.
Enni Mälkönen was the first ever woman to clinch a championship title in any of the World Rally Championship classes when she became Co-Driver champion in WRC3 in 2022. Mälkönen and her teammate Sami Pajari moved up the ranks in 2023, with a WRT serviced Škoda Fabia Rally2 for Toksport and had a good season gaining experience, including their first ever win in WRC2 at Rally Finland.
Just like in 2022, Enni Mälkönen wrote more history as she and Julia Thulin were the first female 1-2 in the history of WRC, when they navigated their teams to finish first and second respectively at Rally Estonia.
In the past, Mälkönen competed in show jumping - but after her horse was injured, she decided to switch to motor racing in 2012. Rallying, though, was not a complete novelty for the young Finn, as her father had been competing as well, and passed on the passion to her daughter.
This year Mälkönen and Sami Pajari are aiming for the title again, as both already tested the new GR Yaris Rally2 in France and the car now received the homologation earlier this week from the Japanese manufacturer.
"While Toyota has made winning cars in the past, I also believe in their vision for the future" - Pajari commented. "That is why I really wanted to choose this car, especially now that I also had the unique opportunity to be among the first to drive it in a WRC event."
It will be an interesting season for the pairing as Toyota didn't have a car for the WRC2 category before and, having just unveiled their car one year ago, is now working with several teams to climb the ranks. One of them is Printsport Racing, which was founded in 1997; Printsport Racing operates nowadays in the famous Jyväskylä region. Known drivers to have previously worked with the team are for example Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen and Jari Huttunen.
With the addition of Sami Pajari and Enni Mälkönen to that list, they will share the car again since early 2022, having scored podiums and victories together. A journey that is set to continue in 2024 with a new team, a new car and a new mission. The first WRC2 rally will take place at Rally Monte Carlo from 25th to 28th January.