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Lindholm wins in Valkeakoski

23.06.2005 / Lindholm wins in Valkeakoski

First rally of the Finnish Rally Championship Summer Season

The eight special stages long rally was driven in sunny weather, for the most part in the vicinity of Kalvola. There was an outside overall winner as Sebastian Lindholm, the reigning champion of Group A, made a one-rally-long comeback into the championship. He and co-driver Tomi Tuominen took part in the Waltikka-Rally with their Peugeot 307 WRC as part of the Peugeot teams testing regime before Neste Rally Finland.

Lindholm had trouble with his tyres on special stages five and six and Jarmo Mikkonen caused some worries for Lindholm as well:
- We had drive behind Mikkonen for at least four kilometres on stage six, because he apparently had some gear problems, Lindholm explained. The pair Lindholm-Tuominen set the fastest times on seven special stages and the French team was was very pleased with the results.

A positive surprise in the Waltikka-Ralli was young Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished second his Toyota Corolla WRC. Latvala showed a steady speed all day, despite hitting a rock on special stage four and despite of a clutch failure on the last stage.
- Im very surprised of my success. I set out to achieve a place in the top five, but this is really great, said the happy Latvala. He also set his first fastest time in a Fionnish Championship race on stage six.

Third in Group A was Kosti Katajamäki, who also took home full Championship points.
- What a tough day. It was really hard on stages six and seven. I lost the rhythm completely and getting it back took very long, said the disappointed Katajamäki .

Jouni Ampuja praised the close competition amongst the drivers:
- Weve rarely had such a tight and good competition, said Ampuja with a big grin on his face after special stage six. He finished fourth overall in his Ford Focus.

Group A:
1. Sebastian Lindholm 40.27,6
2. Jari-Matti Latvala +0.23,6
3. Kosti Katajamäki +0.43,5
4. Jouni Ampuja +0.45,7
5. Juuso Pykälistö +0.57,2
6. Kristian Sohlberg +1.08,5
7. Heikki Westerlund +3.07,3
8. Markku Nikupeteri +3.15,0
9. Kim Niemi +3.37,2
10. Igor Sokolov +7.34,9
11. Pekka Vihma +8.00,6

Unofficial Championship Standings
1. Juuso Pykälistö 49
2. Jouni Ampuja 46
3. Kristian Sohlberg 42,5

Group N over 2000cc

The competition in this group was very close throughout the day. Fastest times were set by Juho Hänninen, Juha Salo and Toni Klemets. Klemets eventually secured the win with a spectacular drive on the last stage bringing his Subaru Impreza Spec-C home with a one second lead over Juha Salo.
- Physically it was getting pretty hard, but I managed to finish. I couldnt really afford to take it easy, said Klemets. He continued by saying, with a twinkle in his eye, that the main thing was that the car was OK and that he could now set off to celebrate Midsummer in good spirits.
Juha Salo was slightly disappointed with his own performance.
- I can only blame myself. Toni drove a great race, said Salo after the rally.
Juho Hänninen came third, 19 seconds behind winner Toni Klemets.
- I have to settle for this. The car was great, but the driving could have been better, was Hänninens own account of the day.

1. Toni Klemets 42.12,5
2. Juha Salo -0.00,8
3. Juho Hänninen -0.19,8
4. Jari Ketomaa -0.30,6
5. Marko Kakko -0.46,4
6. Juha Vuorela -0.50,7
7. Jarkko Miettinen -0.52,6
8. Teemu Laatunen -0.56,8
9. Kari Ali-Rantala 1.13,3
10. Kaj Kuistila 1.19,8

Unofficial Championship Standings
1. Juha Salo 53
2. Jari Ketomaa 32
3. Hannu Hotanen 30

Group N upto 2000cc

Kalle Pinomäki, driving a Renault Clio, started the rally by setting the fastest time on the first special stage and he didnt slow down.
- I drove the first six stages absolutely on the limit, but took it a bit easier on the last two, said the winner.

Second was Marko Mänty, who was hampered by some technical worries.
- We were looking for reasons for the lack of speed all day, but found nothing. The tires werent working that well either, explained Mänty.

Joonas Lindroos became third. He was pleased about setting fastest times on a couple of stages and naturally of his podium finish.
- Im happy about todays result, Lindroos said.

1. Kalle Pinomäki 44.05,5
2. Marko Mänty -0.19,6
3. Joonas Lindroos -0.56,7
4. Ville Hautamäki -0.57,8
5. Marko Nieminen -1.05,5
6. Matti Rantanen -1.07,3
7. Joni Nikko -1.15,5
8. Vesa Mikkola -1.34,9
9. Janne Pihlajamäki -1.54,6
10. Ailu Magga -2.11,4

Unofficial Championship Standings
1. Kalle Pinomäki 44,5
2. Marko Mänty 42
3. Ville Hautamäki 32

Final Official Results at www.tenab.net

The next rally, O.K. Auto-ralli, takes place in Kuusankoski on 16th July.

Pisteet top 5

1. Roope Korhonen / Anssi Viinikka 45 pistettä LMM (Rally2)
2. Mikko Heikkilä / Kristian Temonen 34 pistettä MäntsMK (Rally2)
3. Benjamin Korhola / Sebastian Virtanen 34 pistettä VihUA (Rally2)
4. Anssi Rytkönen / Mikael Korhonen 26 pistettä KoMoKe (R5)
5. Teemu Asunmaa / Ville Mannisenmäki 25 pistettä AlavUA (Rally2)

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