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Katajamäki Wins Arctic - Mikkonen Leads the Championship

31.01.2006 / Katajamäki Wins Arctic - Mikkonen Leads the Championship

Finnish Rally Championship

The Finnish Rally Championship 2006 was kicked off with Arctic Lapland Rally, driven in Rovaniemi on 28 -29 January. The event, in a way, is three rallies in one: the winner of the overall competition is decided in a two-day battle, whereas drivers entered in the Championship get points from both Friday and Saturday. The overall competition was won by reigning Finnish Champion Kosti Katajamäki. Katajamäki is not entered in this year's Championship, however, and therefore second place man Jarmo Mikkonen scored top points on both days.

The 51-year-old Mikkonen driving a Ford Focus was in top form from the get-go. He set the fastest time on Friday's first special stage and held the lead until SS4. Katajamäki was fastest on three stages, and a small surprise came on the last special stage of the day where the fastest time was set by Ioannis Papadimitriou of Greece.

Friday's third place was a tight battle between the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champion Jussi Välimäki, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, and Jari-Matti Latvala in a Toyota Corolla WRC. Latvala held his ground in the end and this promising young driver was third on day one, in both the overall competition and in Group A.

Kosti Katajamäki was fastest again on Saturday, followed by Jarmo Mikkonen. Third in Group A on day two was Kristian Sohlberg, but like Katajamäki Sohlberg is not entered in the Championship. That meant that Mikkonen scored highest Championship points again on Saturday. Second points-wise was Russian Subaru driver Alexander Dorosinsky and third Kari Ali-Rantala in a Mitsubishi.

Group A Championship Points after rounds 1 and 2:
1. Jarmo Mikkonen 24
2. Pekka Keski-Korsu 10.5
3. Jari-Matti Latvala 10
3. Alexander Dorosinsky 10
5. Jussi Välimäki 8
5. Kari Ali-Rantala 8
7. Markus-Mikko Salo 7.5
8. Ioannis Papadimitriou 6.5
9. Reijo Muhonen 5.5
9. Pekka Turunen 5.5

Group N, over 2000 cc

In this group the reigning Finnish Champion Juha Salo started off the new season in his usual dominant style. Salo, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, set fastest times on five of Friday's six stages. Salo closest rival was Juho Hänninen, also in an Evo 9, who ended up only 7.3 seconds behind the group leader on day and round one. Hänninen was fastest on SS3.

Third in Group N over 2000 cc on Friday was Subaru man Jukka Ketomäki, and fourth an up-and-coming young driver with a famous surname: Alén. Mitsubishi driver Anton Alén, son of Finnish rally star Markku Alén, finished the day with the exact same time as Ketomäki, but since Ketomäki was faster than Alén on SS1, he takes home the higher points from round one.

Saturday saw Juha Salo continue his great pace. Salo was fastest on five of the day's seven stages, won the second round of the Championship and ended up third in the overall competition, just behind the Group A guys Katajamäki and Mikkonen. Second was Juho Hänninen, who set the fastest time on the last special stage of the day. Jari Ketomaa, who this year switched from Subaru to Mitsubishi, was forced to retire on Friday due to clutch problems, but on Saturday he was fastest on SS9 and ended up third in the second round of the Championship.

Group N Championship Points after rounds 1 and 2:
1. Juha Salo 24
2. Juho Hänninen 20
3. Jukka Ketomäki 14.5
4. Anton Alén 10.5
5. Jari Ketomaa 8
6. Marko Kakko 7
6. Teemu Laatunen 7
8. Jouni Ampuja 5.5
9. Janne Vähämiko 5
10. Ari Laivola 3

Group n, upto 2000 cc

Group n Championship Points after rounds 1 and 2:
1. Joonas Lindroos 22
2. Ailu Magga 18
3. Jarno Kinnunen 12
4. Joni Nikko 11.5
5. Joni Arpiainen 8
6. Jani Hirvonen 7
7. Ville Hautamäki 6.5
8. Matti Rantanen 5
8. Markku Markkanen 5
10. Vesa Mikkola 4

Arctic Lapland Rally Final Official Results at:

Pisteet top 5

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

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Kalenteri 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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