Vihavainen takes the win in Tampere - two championships go to Estonia
The last FRC round took place in Tampere and it was won by Ari Vihavainen of Heinola motorsports club. He led the rally from Friday´s start to finish, but most of the attention was focused on the championship battles. For the first time in the history of the series, no less than two of the championships went beyond the borders of Finland with Karl Kruuda winning in SM1 and Kaspar Koitla in SM2. In SM4, Ville Hautamäki had made sure in the previous round in Turku that the championship remains in Finland. In SM3, the champion is Samuli Vuorisalo.
In SM1, Ari Vihavainen takes silver after Kruuda. Bronze goes to Jussi Vainionpää, who represents Oulu motorsport club. Kruuda was extremely happy after a gruelling day.
- We made history here, and it feels great. My hands are very tired because of the power steering problems, and it was really difficult to keep the car on the road today. I have to say that I love these roads especially because you have to drive as fast as you can in all conditions. I will probably do a few rallies in Finland also next year, Kruuda commented at the finish.
Vihavainen was naturally a bit disappointed after losing the battle for gold In SM1, but the veteran can also appreciate silver. Vihavainen hinted that this was his last FRC rally.
-For sure, I am happy with the result of this rally, but it annoys me that I lost my grip of the brightest medal. I am happy with my pace, and it was nice to notice that I am still going this strong. Silver is a good result, and it is very likely that this was my last FRC rally ever.
Likewise, Kaspar Koitla made sure that the championship in SM2 goes to Estonia at the end of the season. Second in the class was Joni Nikko of Laihia motorsport club and bronze went to Juha Salo. Koitla was happy at the finish, and rightly so.
-We managed to drive the whole rally without major problems and everything went well. The championship feels really good, and it is great that Karl did the same in SM1, Koitla rejoiced.
In SM4, there was no battle for the championship anymore as it had already been decided in the penultimate round in Turku when Ville Hautamäki representing Järvisuomi motorsport club secured the championship in the class. Janne Seluska took silver, and bronze went to Joose Kojo.
In SM3, Joonas Lindroos was disqualified in Tampere due to an event on the last special stage. Samuli Vuorisalo took the championship, Henri Haapamäki takes silver and bronze goes to Joonas Lindroos.
FRC 6/6 Pirelli Ralli, 26.-27.9. Tampere
Results, top ten 9/9 stages
1) Ari Vihavainen-Jani Vainikka HeiUA/MHMK lk SM1 Mitsubishi 1.16.41,2; 2) Juha Salo - Marko Salminen KaUA/NoorUA/MK lk SM2 Mitsubishi 20,9;3) Karl Kruuda - Martin Järveoja LievUA lk. SM1 Ford +50,1; 4) Jussi Vainionpää - Mika Juntunen OUA/KajUA SM1 Mitsubishi +1,52,1; 5) Kaspar Koitla-Mait Laidvee KaUA/TerUA lk SM1 Mitsubishi +2.11,8; 6) Mika Rampanen-Kari Kallio KorUA/MK/UuUA SM1 Subaru +3.39,3; 7) Joni Nikko - Jarno Ottman LaihUA/EspooUA lk SM2 Mitsubishi +14.33,1; 8) Samuli Vuorisalo-Eetu-Pekka Hellsten KySUA/TamUA lk SM3 Ford +5.28,2 9) Henri Haapamäki-Juha Lummaa SAU/NokUA SM3 Citroën +6.34,9; 10) Esa Ruotsalainen-Enni Mälkönen SaaUA/LamUA SM4 Honda +6.53,4:
FRC medalists 2014
1. Karl Kruuda 115
2. Ari Vihavainen 107
3. Jussi Vainionpää 86
1. Kaspar Koitla 139,5
2. Joni Nikko 128
3. Juha Salo 107,5
1. Samuli Vuorisalo 111
2. Henri Haapamäki 110
3. Joonas Lindroos 108,5
1. Ville Hautamäki 127,5
2. Janne Seluska 105,5
3. Joose Kojo 86
Photos free for publishing: http://www.rallism.fi/content/en/1/20180/Gallery.html
Terhi Heloaho, communications
+358 40 6822662