Jarkko Nikara wins overall and SM1 in Itäralli in Joensuu
Finnish Rally Championship 3/6 in Joensuu 8.3.2014
Jarkko Nikara from Saarijärvi took both the overall and SM1 win in the third round of the FRC series in Joensuu. Karl Kruuda from Estonia was second overall and in SM1. The eventual difference between Nikara and Kruuda was 11,6 seconds. Juha Salo, who had been unlucky in the opening rounds of the season, was third overall and won in SM2. Salo was 35,0 seconds behind Nikara.
Jarkko Nikara was relieved at the finish.
-The last kilometres were really long. It was like driving your granny to church, but it went well, after all. We went flat out the whole day because Juha was really fast behind us after the service and we had to keep up our competitive pace all the time. I´m happy with my performance and especially with the points we are taking home. In addition to driving FRC rallies, our goal is to add a few WRC rallies in a WRC car to our calendar. At the moment we are looking for possibilities.
?So, Jarkko Nikara won in SM1 and Karl Kruuda was second. Third in SM1 was Jussi Tiippana, who lost 46,4 seconds to Nikara. There were many retirements in SM1: for example, Riku Tahko in his Mini was unlucky again. He wasn´t able to participate in Vaakuna Ralli in Mikkeli two weeks ago due to engine problems that appeared at the pre-rally tests, and now he had to retire on SS2.
In addition to being third overall, Juha Salo took the win in SM2 with a 26,5 seconds gap over Joni Nikko, who was second. Third in SM2 in Joensuu was Kaspar Koitla, who was eventually 54,9 seconds behind Salo.
The winner in SM3 was Joonas Lindroos with a 20,0 seconds gap over Samuli Vuorisalo, who was second. Vuorisalo had a tight battle with Teemu Suninen until the finish line with only a few tens of seconds between them, but the battle was won by Vuorisalo by 0,8 seconds. Thus, Suninen was third.
In SM4, Ville Hautamäki, who had won the opening FRC round in Rovaniemi, now got back to winning ways in Joensuu. He has now collected two wins and one second place from Mikkeli. Second in SM4 was Sander Siniorg from Estonia, but Siniorg is not competing for FRC points. The difference between Siniorg and Hautamäki was 46,2 seconds. Third place in SM4 was taken by Janne Seluska, who lost 52,9 seconds to Hautamäki.
The next FRC round is SM Pohjanmaa-Ralli, which will take place in Lapua 14.6.2014.
Results, FRC 3/6 Joensuu:
1) Jarkko Nikara - Petri Nikara SaaUA lk SM1 Mitsubishi 49.39,0; 2) Karl Kruuda - Martin Järveoja LievUA lk. SM1 Ford +11,6; 3) Juha Salo - Marko Salminen KaUA/NoorUA/MK lk SM2 Mitsubishi +0.35,0; 4) Jussi Tiippana - Henri Arpiainen MikUA lk SM1 Mitsubishi +46,4; 5) Veli-Pekka Karttunen - Topi Luhtinen PiekUA lk SM1 Subaru +1.00,9; 6) Joni Nikko - Jarno Ottman LaihUA/EspooUA lk SM2 Mitsubishi +1.01,5; 7) Kaspar Koitla - Mait Laidvee KaUA/TerUA lk SM2 Mitsubishi +1.29,9; 8) Ari Vihavainen - Jani Vainikka HeiUA/MhMK lk SM1 Mitsubishi +1.35,4; 9) Teemu Asunmaa - Tomi Ikonen AlavUA/NilUA lk SM2 Subaru +1.36,1;
10) Jari Kihlman - Matti Heikkinen KuuUA lk. SM1 Mitsubishi +2.25,5; /-/15) Joonas Lindroos - Pasi Kilpeläinen ESRC/EspooUA lk. SM3 Citroën +3.52,3 (class winner); /-/22) Ville Hautamäki - Ari-Pekka Hautanen JärvisUA lk SM4 Honda +4.38,0 (class winner)
FRC standings after three rounds (top five)
1. Nikara Jarkko 66
2. Vihavainen Ari 49,5
3. Karttunen Veli-Pekka 41
4. Kruuda Karl 40
5. Janne Tuohino 37,5
1. Nikko Joni 70
2. Koitla Kaspar 63,5
3. Salo Juha 50
4. Asunmaa Teemu 45,5
5. Kiviniemi Kristian 43,5
1. Lindroos Joonas 63,5
2. Haapamäki Henri 60
3. Vuorisalo Samuli 57,5
4. Suninen Teemu 44
5. Kauppinen Matias 37
1. Hautamäki Ville 82,5
2. Kojo Joose 62
3. Hassinen Tuomo 41
4. Seluska Janne 39,5
5. Savolainen Jarkko 38
More info/FRC communications:
GSM 040 580 4620