PROFILE1994: Started rallying with Peugeot 205
1996: His WRC debut in Rally Finland with Opel Astra
1997: Drives Group N Mitsubishi
1998: Drives Mitsubishi
1999: Drives Mitsubishi
2000: Drives Mitsubishi, 2nd in Sweden and Finland (gr.N)
2001: Drives Subaru and Toyota
2002: Drives Toyota, Peugeot and Mitsubishi
2003: Drives Peugeot
2004: Drives Toyota and Citroen
2005: Drives Ford
|Date of Birth:
21/5/1975 at Padasjoki
World Drivers' Champion:
Pykälistö started his motorsport career in enduro and made the switch to cars in 1994.
In 1996 he was selected as a Rally Finland Stipendiant and he placed second in British Championship Amateurs´Cup as well as Finnish
Championship Group N under 2 litres with Opel Astra.
In 1997 he moved on to 4wd car with Group N Mitsubishi winning the category in Pirelli Rally. In 1998 he finished second in Group N Finnish Championship and drove also some WRC events without luck.
In 2000 he did two WRC rallies. He placed second in the Group N in Sweden and also in Finland. In Finnish Championship series he placed second.
2001 he started the season in a Group N Subaru. He was able to stop Mitsubishi´s victory period already in the second event of the Finnish Rally Championship series - Kaloppirally. In Mänttä Rally 2001 he was driving for the first time with the World Rally Car. Pykälistö surprised and he was faster than works driver Toni Gardemeister or Jani Paasonen before retirement.
In 2002 he drove the Finnish Rally Championship series and selected rounds of the WRC series with the Toyota and Mitsubishi. He won all winter rounds and showed presence of mind by adjusting his speed according to that of the opposition. In Rally Finland, as with the help of Marcus Gronholm he managed to work out a deal to use a privateer specification Peugeot 206 WRC. He impressed many and scored good stage times. In the beginning of the event he ran as high as fourth place overall. Technical reason ended his rally, but he had showed that he is able to drive as fast as top drivers.
Peugeot signed Pykälistö as a test driver and in 2003 he contested six rounds of the World Rally Championship in a Bozian-prepared Peugeot 206 WRC. He finished the Rally Finland in ninth place, but the whole season was a big disappointment. He was not able to drive test and without the test experience, it was impossible to find fast speed in the event.
In 2004 he competed the Finnish Rally Championship series in a Toyota Corolla WRC and in Rally Finland he was behind the wheel of a Citroen Xsara WRC run by Belgian team Kronos. He made an electrifying start to the event lying 3rd place in the overall classification after the second stage, but was forced to retire in the early stages with a blown engine. In Italy the operation was repeated, but this time the accident ended the rally.
In 2005 he will compete the Finnish Rally Championship series in a Ford Focus RS WRC02 and drives also some tests for the Citroen´s works team.