Jarkko Nikara from Saarijärvi took both the overall and SM1 win in the third round of the FRC series in Joensuu. Karl Kruuda from Estonia was second overall and in SM1. The eventual difference between Nikara and Kruuda was 11,6 seconds. Juha Salo, who had been unlucky in the opening rounds of the season, was third overall and won in SM2. Salo was 35,0 seconds behind Nikara.
Juha Salo has won the second round of the Finnish Rally Championship in Mikkeli. Joni Nikko was second both overall and in SM(FRC)2. The difference between Salo and Nikko was 15,2 seconds. Third overall was Ari Vihavainen, who was 45 seconds behind the winner. The win was especially important to Salo, who had retired in Arctic Lapland Rally.
- Of course the feeling is good after the rally now that we have won. The stages were pretty worn out towards the end so I had to try and keep the car in the ruts.
The second round of the Finnish Rally Championship started today in Mikkeli with one stage that was 14,99 kms long.
There was a bit of drama even on that one stage: Jarkko Nikara went off and had to retire. - We lost our extra lights on the stage and only one headlight was working. One junction took us by surprise in the dark and we just overshot it. We also bent a wheel there, told Nikara. Tomorrow he will have the chance to continue under the Rally 2 regulations, but he was not yet able to tell if they can fix the car.
There is a lot at stake in SM3 early in the season. The cars are R1 and R2 cars with international homologation, and this class is especially attractive to promising young rally drivers. What makes it even more interesting is the prize sponsored by AKK Sports Ltd: a WRC3 car for the Finnish round of the FIA World Rally Championship with a budget for both testing and the actual rally at the end of July. SM3 drivers who are 25 years or younger are competing for the prize in the first four FRC rallies.
The second round of the Finnish Rally Championship starts today in Mikkeli. There will be points on offer in four FRC classes and the teams will also compete for points in the teams´ championship. The rally kicks off on Friday evening and continues on Saturday morning. It will finish on Saturday around 5:30 PM. The SM1 points leader among the entrants in Mikkeli is Jarkko Nikara from Saarijärvi.