No rivals for Lindholm
Sixth round of the finnish Rally Championship was driven at the west coast of the country, in Uusikaupunki on Saturday 13th September.
The weather was dry and sunny, temperature 15 degrees celsius.
Sebastian Lindholm, the cousin of World Champion Marcus Grönholm, won again without a question. Janne Tuohino, who still is leading in the championship standings didnt find enough speed from his Ford Focus WRC on any of the stages. Lindholm was fastest on each eight stages that were driven. Tuohino wasnt happy with his performance: - Everything was ok, obviously I just didnt drive fast enough. I have no idea, what elkse could have I done, he said. Lindholm was satisfied: - I wasnt that unbeatable, he said, -I just happened to have a good day, I trust my car and my driving and that allows me to go even a bit over the limit, he summed up. Biggest surprice of the day was Jouni Ampujas third position: Kaj Kuistila had driven very well and kept the third position all day untill the eight stage, where he went out! The final positions were 1. Sebastian Lindholm, Peugeot 206 WRC, 2. Janne Tuohino, Ford Focus WRC and 3. Jouni Ampuja, Toyota Corolla WRC.
The Finnish Rally Championship had this time also a very interesting british guest: 22 years old Gareth Glyn Jones drove the event with Toyota Corolla WRC, and was surpricingly fast. He was fourth after the first, short asphalt stage, and drove nearly as good times as Jouni Ampuja. Only one mistake on third stage costed him 20 seconds and dropped him to be eleventh on the overall list after seven stages. Unfortunately he made another mistake on the last stage and had to retire after crashing out. Jones has been rallying for 18 months now, and has set himself a good programme: - Im here to learn how to do the pace notes, as I wont learn that at home. Also these really fast gravel roads will teach me how to fight against the Finns, he told during the halt before tha last three stages. Jones is planning to enter also the last event of the FRC in October.
Championship standings, Gr A, over 2-litres
1. Janne Tuohino, 87
2. Sebastian Lindholm, 76
3. Jari Viita, 59
Group N, over 2-litres
Hannu Hotanen and Juha Salo are fighting hard for the championship title. This event was Hotanens home event and this caused him some pressure, although he propably got some advantage of the spirit of his supporters as well. Hotanen took the lead after the second stage and after Salo had a puncture, his day was a bit more settled. He kept his lead, although Salo was fastest on the five of the last stages. Hotanen won by 4,9 seconds and Jukka Ketomäki was third, 4,5 seconds behind Salo.
Championship standings, Gr N, over 2-litres
1. Hannu Hotanen, 80
2. Juha Salo, 74
3. Marko Uutela, 64
Winner of Gr A, under 2-litres was Janne Vähämiko with WV Golf and in Gr N, under 2-litres the guest star, Kosti Katajamäki with Honda Civic Type R.
Next and last event of the season: 4.-5.10. SM-Valvolineralli,