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Joni Nikko in the lead, favourite Nikara out

21.02.2014 /

Mikkeli, Day 1

Joni Nikko in the lead, favourite Nikara out

sm2_ss1_joninikko.jpg - pienennetty

The second round of the Finnish Rally Championship started today in Mikkeli with one stage that was 14,99 kms long. The road conditions were good, the surface was icy and the spikes bit well so the drivers fell over themselves to praise the conditions.

There was a bit of drama even on that one stage, which was driven in the dark: Jarkko Nikara, who started the rally as the favourite, went off and had to retire. - We lost our extra lights on the stage and only one headlight was working. One junction took us by surprise in the dark and we just overshot it. We also bent a wheel there, told Nikara. Tomorrow he will have the chance to continue under the Rally 2 regulations, but he was not yet able to tell if they can fix the car.

The fastest driver today was in the SM2 class and his name is Joni Nikko. He pulled a 0,9 seconds´ gap to Ari Vihavainen, who was the fastest SM1 driver. Nikko was surprised at the result as they had had some surprises along the way: -The first stage is always a bit difficult; we almost had one or two moments in there but we got off without problems. Luckily we were saved by a snowbank. All in all, the grip was good and the stage was nice.

Juha Salo is second in SM2 and third overall. -It went quite well after all even though I pumped the brakes. I thought I would lose more on this stage, Salo said at the finish. The gap to the leading Nikko is now only 2,8 seconds.

Second in SM1 and fourth overall is the local boy Jussi Tiippana, who complained that the car was not going anywhere so there must be something wrong with it.

That´s the way it was in the four-wheel drive classes. One of the favourites in SM1 was Karl Kruuda, but he was no higher than ninth. - It was really difficult to drive, very slippery, Kruuda complained. He started the stage after Nikara and told that he had had to slow down where Nikara had gone off.

The fastest in the two-wheel drive classes was Henri Haapamäki in SM3. He is leading Joonas Lindroos by 0,7 seconds. In SM4, old hand Ville Hautamäki, who set the fastest time on every stage in Arctic Lapland Rally, surprisingly had to give in. The fastest in SM4 was Jarkko Savolainen, who beat Hautamäki by 3,4 seconds.

The rally will continue tomorrow with six stages. The first stage will start at 11:35. The last stage will start at 17:00 and it is 23,7 kms long.

Pisteet top 5

1. Teemu Asunmaa / Jani Salo 107.5 pistettä Alavuden UA (R5)
2. Emil Lindholm / Mikael Korhonen 95 pistettä NHD (R5)
3. Mikko Heikkilä / Henri Arpiainen 61 pistettä MäntsMK (R5)
4. Esa Ruotsalainen / Jukka Ruotsalainen 51 pistettä SaarUA (R5)
5. Juha Salo / Pasi Kilpeläinen 49.5 pistettä Karkkilan UA (R5)

< Katso kaikki >

Kalenteri 2020

1. Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi 16.-18.1.
2. SM Vaakuna-Ralli Mikkeli 7.-8.2.
3. SM Itäralli, Joensuu 28.-29.2.
4. SM O.K. Auto-ralli, Kouvola 4.-5.9.
5. Pohjanmaa SM-Ralli, Seinäjoki 25.-26.9.

SM-sarja sosiaalisessa mediassa