Karl Kruuda is fastest on the gravel roads of Turku area
Karl Kruuda from Estonia has won the FRC rally and SM(FRC)1 in Turku. Juha Salo, who competes in SM2 and whose finish time was exactly the same as Kruuda´s , had to settle with second place overall as the winner was decided by the time the competitors set on the first special stage of the rally. The fastest was Karl Kruuda, but only by 0.5 seconds. Ari Vihavainen, who competes in SM1, was third. He was only 0,9 seconds behind Kruuda in the end. Juha Salo won his class, SM2. The points are awarded by class so Kruuda and Salo were not competing for the same FRC points.
- It seems you always learn something new, and this time it was important to go flat out right from the first stage as its results decided the overall victory. Salo and Vihavainen were really fast so the victory didn´t come easy. It is very rare that the top three are within one second, Kruuda told.
Kruuda won also in SM1, where Ari Vihavainen was second and 0,9 seconds off the pace. Third in SM1 was Jussi Vainionpää, who lost one and a half minutes to Kruuda.
The winner in SM2 was Juha Salo, who had got a new car for this rally. He beat the Estonian Kaspar Koitla, who was second, by 31,3 seconds. Kristian Kiviniemi, who had a tight battle with Koitla, was third in the class losing only 32,5 seconds to Salo, the winner.
- Compared to Kruuda, I think I was beaten big time by 0,5 seconds in the overall rally, Salo joked at the finish. Still, I´m very happy with this weekend´s result. I drove for the class victory and we got that, Salo told.
In SM3, Teemu Suninen continued to perform superbly at the wheel of a rally car. Suninen, who won in WRC3 in Neste Oil Rally Finland in early August, took the class victory also in Turku leaving Joonas Lindroos second by 18,2 seconds. Third in the class was Samuli Vuorisalo, who was 24,8 seconds off the pace in the end.
- This was a great rally with lots of challenges, even though they were quite different from the ones in Neste Oil Rally Finland. It seems we had to win a WRC rally first to be able to win here in the FRC series, Suninen said at the finish.
In SM4, Esa Ruotsalainen celebrated his victory over Ville Hautamäki by 7,2 seconds. Hautamäki secured his Finnish championship title in SM4 with the second place. Third in SM4 was Janne Seluska, who was 11,3 seconds behind Ruotsalainen.
- Our speed improved towards the end, and especially the last two stages went well without mistakes. We had a new car which we managed to get ready just before this rally, so the victory is a great prize for the whole team, Ruotsalainen summed up at the finish.
Ville Hautamäki was also happy having secured the championship.
- We have six or seven medals of different colours in the overall Finnish championship, and it feels really good now that we are finally champions. The last time I won a championship was in the juniors in 2004 so it was about time to win a championship in the national FRC, Hautamäki said.
The 2014 Finnish Rally Championship season finishes in four weeks with the final, Pirelli Ralli, in Tampere 26.-27.9. The championship is still open in three classes of four.
- - -
Photos free for publishing: http://www.rallism.fi/kuvagalleria/2014/smralliturku293082014/default.html
Results (Top 10 + class winners)
1) Karl Kruuda - Martin Järveoja LievUA lk. SM1 Ford 45.49,6; 2) Juha Salo - Marko Salminen KaUA/NoorUA/MK lk SM2 Mitsubishi 45.49,6; 3) Ari Vihavainen-Jani Vainikka HeiUA/MHMK lk SM1 Mitsubishi +0,9; 4) Kaspar Koitla-Mait Laidvee KaUA/TerUA lk SM1 Mitsubishi +31,3; 5) Kristian Kiviniemi - Matti Kangas ParkUA/LaihUA lk SM2 +32,5; 6) Joni Nikko - Jarno Ottman LaihUA/EspooUA lk SM2 Mitsubishi +35,9; 7) Jussi Vainionpää - Mika Juntunen OUA/KajUA SM1 Mitsubishi +1.34,2; 8) Teemu Asunmaa - Tomi Ikonen AlavUA/NilUA lk SM2 Subaru +1.55,5; 9) Kari Hämälainen - Risto Pietiläinen NaSU/FCDA lk SM1 Ford +2.05,8; 10) Janne Eronen - Ville Mäkelä HAU/NuUA lk SM1 Mitsubishi +2.19,5; /-/ 12) Teemu Suninen - Juha-Pekka Jauhiainen lk SM3 Ford +3.20,8; /-/ 13) Esa Ruotsalainen - Enni Mälkönen SaaUA/LamUA lk SM4 Honda +4.04,3;
FRC points standings 5/6 completed events
SM1 Super 4
1. Kruuda Karl 85
2. Vihavainen Ari 69,5
3. Nikara Jarkko 66
4. Vainionpää Jussi 62
5. Karttunen Veli-Pekka 41
SM2 - Tuotanto4
1. Koitla Kaspar 109,5
2. Nikko Joni 104
3. Kiviniemi Kristian 73,5
4. Asunmaa Teemu 73,5
5. Salo Juha 70
SM3 - R2
1. Lindroos Joonas 108,5
2. Suninen Teemu 85
3. Haapamäki Henri 80
4. Vuorisalo Samuli 73,5
5. Tokee Joonas 50
SM4 - Super 2
1. Hautamäki Ville 127,5 (varmisti mestaruuden)
2. Kojo Joose 86
3. Seluska Janne 75,5
4. Savolainen Jarkko 65
5. Hassinen Tuomo 59
Teams´ championship standings
1. Printsport 1 255
2. Printsport 2 226
3. L.A.D.-Service 222,5
4. Hannu´s Rally Team 214
5. Dynamo 90
Full point tables here.
+358 40 6822662