Jari Lappalainen (born 24th May 1997 in Jyväskylä, Finland) is a Finnish racing driver currently contracted to Astro Racing Stars. He is currently employed as a tester in the IFRC series, and races for Definitely Maybe Racing in the 2016 F1RDS season.
Personal and early life
Lappalainen was born in Jyväskylä in southern Finland. His mother was a primary school teacher, and his father worked in insurance. He was named after Finnish football player Jari Litmanen.
He has an older brother, Joonas, who manages Jari day-to-day.
Early racing history
Jari began karting aged 8, and won various championships in Scandinavia. He then moved to Towcester in England to take part in the British Formula Ford Championship. Whilst living here, he was in close proximity to Silverstone and spent a vast period of time testing on the circuit. He impressed many former racers with his tenacity and technical feedback, and romped to the championship. This brought him to the attention of Fusion Motorsports.
Jari joined Fusion in 2015, who had just set up their fledgling RoLFS operation with Diego Álvarez Torrente as their first driver. Lappalainen became the tester, but team manager Jake Legge wished to put him in the car halfway through the season. However, Donkervoort were looking for a driver for their F1RDS operation, and so a deal was agreed to loan Lappalainen to them. He lined up alongside Brazilian Jalmerson da Cunha.
After a tough season where the Donkervoort could not make the best of the Toyota's advantage in race trim, Lappalainen finished 16th in the championship, albeit managing one win. He moves to Definitely Maybe Racing for 2016.
F1RDS Winter Cup Results
|2015||Donkervoort Automobielen||Toyota 2.0L L4DOHC|| SUZ
|2016||Definitely Maybe Racing||Ford-Cosworth 2.0L V6|| SN1
|2015||Donkervoort Automobielen||Toyota 2.0L L4DOHC|| AUS
|2016||Definitely Maybe Racing||Ford-Cosworth 2.0L V6|| SP1