October 24, 2018

2018/19 Winter Jumps Series Rd1 – Report

The opening round of the Finnish Winter Jumps electric off-road series was held at the Fullspeed RC Indoor Arena in Vantaa, Finland, with a new record of 122 entries in the two classes. The race was held at the facility’s huge astro turf track and the competition was very high. The layout was fast with difficult jump sections and the race featured four former Euros A-main finalists, which would make for some stiff competition. The 2WD race had a record breaking 74 entries of the like of Joona Haatanen, Joel Valander, Karri Salmela and Pekko Iivonen. These drivers showed a high pace from the start and along with Konsta Saarinen, Lauri Ruotsalainen and Tuomo Otsavaara these were the drivers dominating the qualifying.

Joona managed to secure the TQ spot with almost perfect driving in front of Karri Salmela in 2nd and Pekko Iivonen in 3rd. Joel took 4th with a better tiebreaker than Lauri in 5th as Tuomo Otsavaara in 6th and Konsta Saarinen in 7th made up the mid-field. Young Jamiel Gabrielsson and local driver Arttu Syrjänen proved that their hard training is paying off by taking the 8th and 9th place. The fight for the last spot in the main final was between this summer’s +40 World Champions Teppo Kauppinen and Markku Honkanen with Teppo taking the final spot in the tie-breaker.

In the finals Joona showed why he is the man to beat in Finland and he took a convincing victory in the first two finals. Behind him Karri finished 2nd with the fight for 3rd going down to the last final. Valander, Otsavaara and Ruotsalainen all held the 3rd position for a while but eventually Valander showed the most experience and managed to secure the 3rd place overall in front of Otsavaara in 4th and Ruotsalainen in 5th.

2WD Buggy final results:
1. Joona Haatanen – Team Associated
2. Karri Salmela – Team Associated
3. Joel Valander – Xray
4. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
5. Lauri Ruotsalainen – Team Associated
6. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
7. Jamiel Gabrielsson – Team Associated
8. Arttu Syrjänen – Team Associated
9. Pekko Iivonen – Schumacher
10.Teppo Kauppinen – Team Associated

The 2WD Junior awards went to Jamiel Gabrielsson and Theo Ingman.

For the 4WD class the track layout featured some very tricky jump sections and a huge double jump that was sure to challenge the drivers. The four rounds of qualifying actually had four different drivers having a TQ round but in the end the overall TQ went to Joel Valander in front of Konsta Saarinen in 2nd, Karri Salmela in 3rd and Joona Haatanen in 4th.

In the opening final Joel started the final lap leading with Joona aggressively searching for an opportunity to overtake. At the huge double jump Joona managed to perfectly hit the inside of the landing zone and managed to squeeze past Joel to take the win in A1. The second final looked the same when Joel started the final lap leading while Joona was chasing him down as good as he could. This time the big double took its toll on Joel’s car with a technical problem at the landing, which meant Joona overtook Joel who still managed to finish 2nd since no one else managed to reach the last lap. This meant Joona secured the overall victory and left Joel in the pole position for 2nd place. However Konsta, who had been showing great pace through the day, was still in the mix for the runner-up spot with a win in the last final and sure enough after some intense battle Konsta managed to win A3, handing him the 2nd place in front of Joel who had to settle for 3rd.

4WD Buggy final results:
1. Joona Haatanen – Team Associated
2. Konsta Saarinen – Xray
3. Joel Valander – Xray
4. Karri Salmela – Team Associated
5. Pekko Iivonen – Schumacher
6. Tuomo Otsavaara – Xray
7. Ilari Langenoja – Xray
8. Markku Honkanen – Team Associated
9. Arttu Syrjänen – Team Associated
10.Jarno Siltanen – Schumacher

The 4WD Junior awards went to Joni Salminen and Olli Viitanen.

Source: Winter Jumps Series [facebook.com]


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