April 14, 2015

Joel Valander sweeps Model Expo Race

Joel Valander sweeps Model Expo Race

Last weekend the final round of the Finnish National Winterjumps 1/10th off-road series was held at the annual Model Expo fair that, combined with other fairs held at the same time, attracted some 40,000 visitors in total. The race was held in 2WD and 4WD electric off-road classes and it attracted some 40 entries to race on a purpose-built concrete track with carpet-clad jumps. In the 2WD class, run on Saturday, Joel Valander controlled the qualifiers to secure the overall TQ. Team mate Lari Jäppinen would start from 2nd into the finals.

In the first A-main Joel lead until the very last minute until a couple of collisions with back markers had Joel dropping to 3rd while up front Joona would take the win in front of Lari. Come A2 and race control had learned from the incidents in the opening A-main, making sure back markers would notice that fast drivers came from behind. Also Joel had learned his lessons and he was able to cruise to a relatively easy victory some 5 seconds ahead of team mate Lari who finished in 2nd in front of 3rd placed Joona. Everything was open now for the third and decisive leg and Joel again made maximum use of his pole position and ended the race in front of young Tuomo Otsavaara who came in 2nd after Joona had to retire.

2WD A-main result:
1. Joel Valander – Yokomo
2. Joona Haatanen – Team Associated
3. Lari Jäppinen – Yokomo
4. Tuomo Otsavaara – Yokomo
5. Markku Honkanen – Team Durango
6. Juha Aromaa – Yokomo
7. Touko Silpola – Team Associated
8. Jani Hovi – Yokomo
9. Jarmo Halme – Team Associated
10.Tomi Mairue – Team C

The 4WD class, run on Sunday, again saw Joel Valander leading the proceedings, showing that his pace on Saturday was no fluke. Ari Heinonen was the only one able to keep up with Joel’s pace and so they split the wins in the first two qualifiers but Joel was the faster one in the final round, eventually picking up the TQ.

The finals then were super intense as Joel was leading tone to tone in the first leg, keeping his cool although Ari pressured him for the whole five minutes. Joel had been racing plenty of ETS races and this was surely shown as the youngster was able to drive stone cold just like the “Iceman” while keeping an insane speed, only to belie to the spectators in A2 when a small error had Joel ending the leg in 2nd place. Just like in 2WD until the third and decisive A-main the overall win was open in the 4WD class and three drivers would be able to fight for the overall win. Joel made a valiant effort to win the race but was unable to see the checkered flag before Ari. The latter however finished behind Joel in A1 and A2 and so Joel’s first A-final result won him the tiebreaker and secured him the second title of the weekend.

4WD A-main result:
1. Joel Valander – Yokomo
2. Ari Heinonen – Durango
3. Markku Honkanen – Team Durango
4. Juho Rajaniemi – Team Durango
5. Joona Haatanen – Team Associated
6. Karri Salmela – Team Associated
7. Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Durango
8. Jarno Halonen – HB
9. Juha Aromaa – Yokomo
10.Antti Silvennoinen – Yokomo

Source: EuroRC [eurorc.com]


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