Class win in Kouvola for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Jarkko Nikara and Sayaka Adachi won the SM2 class (and were sixth overall) on the O.K. Auto-ralli: round four of the Finnish Championship.
The O.K. Auto-ralli in central Finland was held on fast gravel roads through forests: typically rapid and demanding Finnish stages. Nikara and Adachi were entered in the SM2 class, with a slightly smaller turbo restrictor on their car than on previous rounds. After an intense fight in which they won four out of the eight stages, Nikara and Adachi claimed the class win by just 2.4 seconds, with their car performing flawlessly throughout the 99.76 competitive kilometres.
“We had a really exciting battle with Henrik Pietarinen: before the last stage we were ahead of him by only two seconds, so we had to try our best. In the morning there was a lot of loose gravel and it felt very slippery, but the roads were cleaner on the second run and I found a good rhythm to read my pace notes, also because we could feel better grip. It was a great experience for me.”
“With our switch to SM2, it’s easier to compare our performances to our direct rivals. The only mistake I made was going wide on one corner in SS3, which put us in the ditch for a few seconds. In the morning our tyres were a bit too hard for the conditions, but the feeling was better once it was warmer in the afternoon. The pace notes are coming very well now, and I could push hard.”
FRC Results (SM2 class):
|1||Jarkko Nikara/Sayaka Adachi (Subaru Impreza WRX STI)||50m03.6s|
|2||Henrik Pietarinen/Juha Lummaa (Mitsubishi Lancer)||+2.4s|
|3||Joonas Tokee/Jani Salo (Subaru Impreza WRX STI)||+50.8s|
|4||Esa Ruotsalainen/Hannu Lamminen (Mitsubishi Lancer)||+54.9s|
|5||Ville Hautam・ki/Enni Malkonen (Subaru Impreza WRX STI)||+1m23.0s
Photo: AKK/Toni Ollikainen