KMS Racing Achieves Double Podium in Joensuu
Nico Valkonen of KMS Racing has emerged victorious in the SM Itäralli, clinching his second SM win of the season. Daniel Polasek’s great drive to P3 secured KMS Racing’s double podium in Joensuu.
KMS Racing, the official partner of M-Sport in Finland, claimed victory in the FRC3 class under the leadership of Nico Valkonen. The team's second driver, Daniel Polasek, complemented their outstanding performance by securing third place, his second in a row.
The opening day of the competition was significantly shortened as the results of Stage 2 were nullified by the decision of the Clerk of the Course due to dust raising into the stages, thus hindering driver’s vision. The results of the short spectator stage determined the starting positions for the second day of the competition. Valkonen took a cautious approach in the opening stage, finishing sixth, while Polasek from the Czech Republic finished in ninth.
During Saturday's first loop, Valkonen and his co-driver Kari Kallio kicked it up a notch, taking command of the class and didn’t look behind afterwards. The strong pace of the driver from Jyväskylä continued in the second loop, ultimately securing victory with a comfortable margin of over 35 seconds.
“The speed was there, evident from the first stages of the day. We managed to navigate the rally without any issues or mistakes. I want to thank the team for making this result possible," commented Valkonen.
Polasek and Katerina Janovska began the main competition day on Saturday in ninth place. However, their consistently solid and progressive performance propelled the Czech duo to third place on the class leaderboard. The fast-paced stages in Joensuu left a lasting impression on the young Czech talent.
"We greatly enjoyed the rally! The stages were the most beautiful I have ever driven on. Also, my pace notes were on point for the first time in Finland. This was great experience for the future," Polasek grinned.
Jussi Kumpumäki, the team manager of KMS Racing, expressed his satisfaction with the team's collective effort, which resulted in two podium finishes.
"The outcome is outstanding, just as we had planned. Nico showcased his usual strong performance. Daniel drove even better than expected at times, demonstrating clear development. Special thanks to the crew for their exceptional work once again," praised Kumpumäki.
The Finnish Rally Championship (Ralli SM) will resume in Lahti on August 11-12.
Photo: Merita Mäkinen