January 10, 2017

Finnish Indoor Championship Series Rd3 – Report

Round three of the Finnish Winter Jumps Indoor Championship Series was held in Taipalsaari over the weekend. The carpet track’s layout was pretty technical with many tricky corners and jumps and with both Karri Salmela and Joona Haatanen absent from the event, it was almost too easy for multiple EOS A-finalist Joel Valander to dominate the both the 2WD and 4WD classes. In Saturday’s 2WD class Joel had a strong start as he TQ’d in every qualification round. The Xray driver continued with strong performances in all A-mains as runner-up, VRC Pro double World Champion Markku Honkanen could not quite challenge Joel.

2WD final results:
1. Joel Valander – Xray
2. Markku Honkanen – Team Durango
3. Ari Heinonen – Team Durango
4. Jarno Siltanen – Schumacher
5. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
6. Pekko Iivonen – Schumacher
7. Touko Silpola – Schumacher
8. Sami Salmela – Team Associated
9. Toni Niinivirta – Xray
10.Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Durango

The 4WD race on Sunday was almost like a rerun for Joel as he was the fastest guy in almost every heat he attended, taking TQs in every qualifier followed by victories in A1 and A2. Behind Joel the crowd could watch one of the tightest battles of this season as four drivers had a change to get the second spot overall before the final A-main. Ultimately it was Lauri Ruotsalainen who took the runner-up spot while Ari Heinonen completed the podium result. One of the biggest surprises of the day was young talent Topi Salminen who reached his first A-main finish in his very first championship race ever.

4WD final results:
1. Joel Valander – Xray
2. Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Durango
3. Ari Heinonen – Team Durango
4. Markku Honkanen – Team Durango
5. Mikko Luopajärvi – Team Associated
6. Jarno Siltanen – Schumacher
7. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
8. Pekko Iivonen – Schumacher
9. Toni Niinivirta – Xray
10.Topi Salminen – Xray

The Winter Jumps Series will continue with round four in February in Äänekoski.

Thanks to Matti Eskelinen for the report.


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