Jani Paasonen and Mika Rajasalo of Finland to compete in the International Rally New York 2009

Forestburgh, New York (October 16, 2009) A noted Finnish rally driver Jani Paasonen with codriver Mika Rajasalo have entered the International Rally New York. This motorsport competition will take place this coming week in the beautiful southern Catskill Mountains of New York, merely ninety miles northwest of New York City.

The two-day International Rally New York 2009 (www.RallyNewYork.com) with more than 100 miles of special stages is the final round of the United States Rally Championship (www.usrallychampionship.com). Each day is a separate round of the New York Rally Championship.

Jani Paasonen started his rallying carrier in 1995 and placed second in the Finnish Junior National Championship the following year. In the 2000 season, he won Group N in Sweden and also in Finland and became the Finnish National Champion in the category. Jani's most successful year was 2004 when he won Swedish Rally dominating Group N category and winning 13 out of 19 stages. His greatest success came at Rally Finland where he took the six place in a factory Skoda Fabia World Rally Car, the best World Rally Championship result for the Fabia World Rally Car ever and also Paasonen's personal best result at this level.

Lately, Jani has been competing in the European Rallycross Championship. His manager is Jouni Kunnas. Jani is also the owner and instructor at the DriveX rally school (www.drivex.fi).

Mika Rajasalo started rallying in 1993 with his brother and in 1995 they won the Finnish Junior National Championship. This will be Mika's first appearance with Jani Paasonen. "I am thrilled at the opportunity to participate in the International Rally New York. I have been several times in the US, but never before in a rally event. From what I have seen on the Internet, the roads are quite different from what I am used to. It will surely be an exciting experience" says Mika.

The main sponsor of Paasonen's and Rajasolo's drive at the International Rally New York 2009 is NCRALLY, a racing division of North Coast Subaru. Other sponsors are WordDive (www.worddive.com), a language-learning software, and Robert Cella, a retired metallurgist, a rally enthusiast and a Rally New York radio operator.

The team is managed in the United States by North Coast Subaru with Otis Dimiters as the team manager. The North Coast Subaru Corporation has been serving the tristate area for over 30 years. The racing division of the dealership, NCRALLY (www.ncrally.com), specializes in Subaru performance, rally car preparation and event support.

-credit: irny