Jani Paasonen: from rare visits to the Stewards’ Room to having his own chair at the table is the title of this article. Continue with News Pro magazine to provide you with more information. Be sure to share our news with your friends on social networks.
Jani Paasonen: from rare visits to the Stewards’ Room to having his own chair at the table
In an illustrious and sportsmanlike driving career that spanned four decades, Jani Paasonen was only summoned to the Stewards’ Room once and invited to state his case for the defence.
Now he spends all day there!
But it’s for a very noble cause, as he applies his vast experience by offering his independent and unbiased opinion to assist with the decision-making process in his new role as the FIA World and European Rallycross Championship driver advisor.
Paasonen raced in World RX in 2019 and 2020, and knows most of the tracks and drivers, yet his participation in international rallying goes back much further. Indeed, the amiable 47-year-old Finn is best known for rallying Mitsubishi Lancers and Škoda Fabias around the world – including in the FIA World Rally Championship.
And it’s his ‘been there and done it’ knowledge of what a driver’s options are in any given situation that now benefits World RX, Euro RX1, RX2e and Euro RX3 competitors.
“It’s a very interesting job,” says Paasonen.
“If an incident during a race comes before the Stewards of the meeting, I give them my unbiased input from a driver’s perspective.
“We study all the camera angles, and I will try to explain to the three Stewards what I think happened from the driver’s viewpoint.
“Things like the reasons why one car touched the other, could the drivers have done something to avoid the collision, was there a technical problem with a car, what could the drivers have done differently, was it by accident, unavoidable or deliberate – everything like that, but from a driver’s point of view.
“Then we may ask the driver or drivers involved to come in and explain it from there viewpoint. I listen, I discuss again with the Stewards and then the Stewards make the decision. I don’t make the decision or apply a penalty, that is entirely down to the Stewards.
“It’s not so easy in rallycross, because there are many reasons why a car may be off line. But we have a lot of cameras around the track and the footage provides us with an incredible about of information.
“My new role as driver advisor is very helpful, because the Stewards don’t normally come from a driving background, and certainly not from world championship level where the speed and reaction time is so high, so I am there to help make sure that the decisions taken are the correct ones.”
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