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Markus Palttala to race in the FIA GT Championship

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Markus Palttala, 23, a member of the Junior Team Finland has signed a contract with the Belgian PSI Motorsport to race 6 to 8 races in the FIA GT Championship in 2001. Palttala and PSI Motorsport will compete in the FIA GT main category GT...

Markus Palttala, 23, a member of the Junior Team Finland has signed a contract with the Belgian PSI Motorsport to race 6 to 8 races in the FIA GT Championship in 2001.

Palttala and PSI Motorsport will compete in the FIA GT main category GT with a 600-horse power Porsche 966 GT2 twin-turbo. He will be the first Finnish driver to participate in FIA GT since JJ Lehto won several races in 1997 with his McLaren BMW. During the same season the series also visited Finland in the Helsinki Thunder race.

Palttala will share the car with Belgian star Kurt Mollekens, 28. Mollekens has been racing in several formula categories in the 1990's, including British F3, international F3000 and also as a Peugeot works-driver in touring cars.

Palttala raced with PSI Motorsport already during 2000 in German DTC with Honda and also in Porsche Carrera Cup, where he got his first experience of powerful rear-wheel-drive-racers. This experience will certainly be needed when racing against highly talented drivers, of which some even have a Formula 1 background.

PSI Motorsport will start their test program in Val di Vienne, France, at the end of March. The first race PSI Motorsport participates is held also in France at the track of Magny Cours in the beginning of May. The season will end in Estoril, Portugal, late October. All qualifying and races of the FIA GT Championship will be televised live by Eurosport.

"I'm really happy to land such a magnificent deal and looking forward to a great challenge," said Palttala. "The car and most of the circuits are new to me, but I think Kurt's experience will give us real contribution and we surely have a package capable of fighting for top positions."

"FIA GT is a huge step on my career. The biggest challenge of the season will be the 24 Hours of Spa. That race provides double championship points and a hard test for both cars and drivers!"

-Motorsport.com staff

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