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Asunmaa sets out for a second win in a row in Kuopio

01.02.2023 / Juho Koski / Asunmaa Racing Press

Teemu Asunmaa sets out for a second win of the FRC season at the SM Iso Valkeinen Rally in Kuopio. The championship point leader enters the event with the older-spec Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, but the TGS Skoda Team driver has a car ready for action for the next round of the season.

Teemu Asunmaa, 35, and his co-driver Ville Mannisenmäki, 27, set out to win the second rally of their season from the next weekend’s SM Iso Valkeinen Rally. Winning the season opening Arctic Lapland Rally after a thriller of a finish, Asunmaa lines up on the start line with number 1 on his Skoda

-It’s nice to get to drive again, especially after Arctic, but of course it’s a whole new event. Last year Kuopio wasn’t quite our rally. We’ve been watching our onboards from last year, and there’s something to be improved on our pace notes, especially on the faster sections. We aim to improve on this.

Even though Asunmaa has the number 1 on his side for the rally, the stages are opened by Rally1 cars, of which two have been entered. As the visiting cars are set out to run before the FRC cars, they’ll do most of the road sweeping. The route of the event includes a mix of old and new.

-The Rally1 hybrids will go before us cleaning the roads, which is of course positive for us. Last year’s stages were really fast and I’m under the impression that they’ve been slowed down for this year. Also there was a lot of snow last year, in fact so much so that the snowbanks were high enough to make the stages narrower than normally. This year there won’t be nearly as much snow.

At the beginning of the rally week TGS Skoda Team’s new Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 was confirmed to be Asunmaa’s car of choice going forward in the season. However, it was decided that the Finn will tackle Kuopio with the older-spec Fabia Rally2 Evo.

-We didn’t have enough time to do proper testing before the rally. The new RS Rally2 has a huge amount of potential, but with a tight schedule we decided to still enter Kuopio with the older Skoda and go to the third round of the championship at the beginning of March with the new one.

SM Iso Valkeinen Rally Kuopio is contested over 8 special stages and 94,03 special stage kilometres. The rally will be livestreamed on YouTube via Moottoriurheilu.tv’s channel.

SM Iso Valkeinen Ralli Kuopio Schedule

Saturday 4.2. – 94,03 km

07:30

Lähtö – Hotelli Iso Valkeinen

Kuopio

09:15

SS1 – Rantakosula

14,16 km

09:42

SS2 – Mustinlahti

14,55 km

10:50

SS3 . Tuusjärvi

12,06 km

11:15

SS4 – Riistakoski Vehmersalmi

12,00 km

13:55

SS5 – Sotkanniemi

7,10 km

15:25

SS6 – Talluskylä

12,49 km

15:50

SS7 – Venäjänsaari

6,77 km

16:10

SS8 – Hirvilahti

14,90 km

17:32

Maali – Kuopion Tori

Kuopio

 

FRC1 category points standings after 1/7 rounds:

1.

Teemu Asunmaa

34

Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

2.

Juha Salo

25

Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

3.

Lauri Joona

20

Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

4.

Juuso Metsälä

16

Skoda Fabia R5

5.

Niclas Grönholm

13

Citroen C3 R5

 

Photo: Merita Mäkinen

Score top 5

1. Roope Korhonen / Anssi Viinikka 70 points LMM (Rally2)
2. Benjamin Korhola / Sebastian Virtanen 49 points VihUA (Rally2)
3. Anssi Rytkönen / Mikael Korhonen 38 points KoMoKe (R5)
4. Mikko Heikkilä / Kristian Temonen 34 points MäntsMK (Rally2)
5. Niclas Grönholm / Kristian Temonen 31 points EMSC (Rally2)

< See all >

Calendar 2024

1) 12.-13.1. SM Auto Sorsa Riihimäki-Ralli, Riihimäki
2) 1.-3.2. 59. Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi
3) 8.-9.3. SM Tuuri Ralli, Alavus
4) 24.-25.5. SM Mad-Croc Länsirannikon Ralli, Turku
5) 14.-15.6. SM Pohjanmaa Ralli, Seinäjoki
6) 23.-24.8. Future SM-ralli, Lahti
7) 4.-5.10. SM Ralli Kitee, Kitee

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