April 25, 2018

Winter Jumps series finale – Report

The sixth and final round of the Finnish Winter Jumps off-road series was held at Helsinki’s Hupicon fair last weekend. The concrete track was laid out with carpet-clad jumps and the event kicked off on Saturday, starting with the 2WD Buggy class. Some of the fastest drivers were missing due to the EOS held in Germany and the track was really slippery in the morning because there was some kind of dust layer on the concrete but as the qualifying rounds started, the track had developed more traction. Markku Honkanen showed some strong driving in the qualifying rounds and took the pole position for the finals with Jamiel Gabrielsson in 2nd and Lauri Ruotsalainen coming in 3rd.

In the finals no one could compete with Honkanen’s speed and he won the first three final legs and secured the day’s win. Ruotsalainen and Luopajärvi battled for the 2nd place after Honkanen had secured the win and Ruotsalainen won the final A-main to snatch the runner-up spot with Luopajärvi in 3rd.

2WD Buggy final results:
1. Markku Honkanen – Team Associated
2. Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Associated
3. Mikko Luopajärvi – Team Associated
4. Jamiel Gabrielsson – Team Associated
5. Juha Aromaa – TLR
6. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
7. Tommi Vacklin – Team Associated
8. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
9. Ilmari Ullakko – Team Associated
10.Joona Lempiäinen – Team Associated

The race was the final round of the 2017/18 Winter Jumps series and Ruotsalainen had already secured the 2WD title and so the battle for the overall runner-up spot was between Otsavaara and Saarinen. After Otsavaara finished 6th and Saarinen 8th, Otsavaara secured the 2nd place in the series.

2WD Buggy overall top 3 results:
1. Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Associated
2. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
3. Konsta Saarinen – Xray

Sunday was 4WD Buggy race day. The traction in the track had gotten much better after sSaturday so the speeds were much higher. After the practice rounds the strongest contenders for the TQ were Otsavaara, Honkanen and Saarinen. Otsavaara was the fastest in the first qualifying rounds but Honkanen won the two following rounds and got the TQ for the finals with Otsavaara starting in 2nd place and Saarinen 3rd. Since this race was the final round of the series and the overall title was still up for grabs between Otsavaara and Saarinen, the tension in the finals was clearly visible.

In the first of the four final rounds Otsavaara managed to pass Honkanen on the first lap and drove safely to the win. In the second leg Saarinen took the win and in the third it was Honkanen’s turn. So the battle for the win of the whole series between Otsavaara and Saarinen took place in the last A-main leg. Otsavaara had bad luck and dropped down to 7th on the first lap and started to chase Saarinen who was in 2nd place. Otsavaara managed to get close to Saarinen but time started to run out, with only 30 seconds on the clock. Saarinen made a small mistake in the penultimate lap so Otsavaara got past him and won the race and with it the overall title.

4WD Buggy final results:
1. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
2. Markku Honkanen – Team Associated
3. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
4. Jamiel Gabrielsson – Team Associated
5. Topi Salminen – Xray
6. Tommi Vacklin – Team Associated
7. Mikko Luopajärvi – Team Associated
8. Max Söderlund – Team Associated
9. Oskari Mäki – Team Associated
10.Jari Itävuori – Team Associated

4WD Buggy overall top 3 results:
1. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
2. Ari Heinonen – Team Associated
3. Konsta Saarinen – Xray

Source: EuroRC [eurorc.com]


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