The first round of the 2007 Fintrack Nationals was held at the Kuusankoski track in a big sports hall. This has been best race of indoor series for many years, from track to race organization.
Teppo's T2'007 (click to enlarge)
This year they came out with a new track layout made from plastic pipes like in US, but more open and fast with good grip. All of the fastest drivers like Teemu Leino, Juho Levänen and Simo Ahoniemi entered the race only 1 week after the DHI Cup in Denmark. For those who raced in DHI it was big turnout with great proper carpet and 6-cell rules.
Vesa's T2'007 (click to enlarge)
The race started on Saturday with 1:12th scale and Touring Car Stock classes. Grip came up pretty fast with help from the 1:12th scale foam tyres. XRAY drivers Vesa Yli and Teppo Kauppinen competed in 1:12th scale and ended up in 4th and 5th places after the finals. In Stock class, drivers had to learn how to drive fast without making contact with the pipes around the track and also look ahead for cars that hit pipes and were on the driving line. After close finals it was Otto Laurila taking the win from Miika Laurila and Vertti Aito.
1. Otto Laurila 2. Miika Laurila XRAY T2´007
3. Vertti Aito
4. Tommi Himanen
5. Niko Lindvall
6. Aleksi Kaasinen 7. Toni Niinivirta XRAY T2´007
8. Mikko Möller
Pekka in pits (click to enlarge)
Racing continued on Sunday with the Modified and Prostock classes. After timed practice the fastest 3 were Teemu Leino, Teppo Kauppinen and Juho Levänen so it was looking pretty good for XRAY as also Pekka Koivula made the Top 10. Prostock looked even faster than last year with top driver Jarkko Mustonen making times pretty close to Modified times with controlled 8,5 brushless Novak motor which was the only allowed motor with brushed 17-turns.
The first round of qualifying didn’t change much as the Top 5 were Juho Levänen, Teemu Leino, Viljami Kutvonen, Teppo Kauppinen and Pekka Koivula. It became clear that it was difficult to make good results in every qualifying round as traffic and pipes made it harder to avoid the other drivers. Second round Simo Ahoniemi and Ari Salminen joined the leader board.
Teemu in pits (click to enlarge)
The first Modified A-Main was a close battle between Teemu Leino and Juho Levänen. Teemu made a mistake and hit the pipes pretty hard. He came back but made contact when passing Levänen and got a stop-and-go penalty. Pekka Koivula had a good run and finished second after Levänen, while Teemu Leino recovered to 3rd.
In Prostock it was Jarkko Mustonen leading Santeri Jokinen. They made almost the same lap times but Jarkko controlled the lead he took after a couple first laps. Henry Salmen came in 3rd.
The second finals saw the same story with Teemu Leino leading, followed by Levänen and Koivula. The rest of pack didn’t race so cleanly but it seems there were no penalties this time. Also, Prostock started off with a pretty loud and biggest hit taken by TQ man Mustonen. Salmen won the fin, with Arto Heinonen in 2nd and Santeri Jokinen in 3rd.
The last final was going to be interesting because the overall win was still open for both classes.
XRAY Team (click to enlarge)
The track did change to lower grip during day, and it seemed that car setup became critical to get grip out from used tyres. Teemu suffered from setup issues… being “awesome fast” at the beginning of day degrading to “hard to drive” in the last final… so it was Juho Levänen who took top place and overall win, with Leino in 2nd and Koivula in 3rd.
1. Juho Levänen 2. Teemu Leino TQ XRAY T2´007
3. Pekka Koivula XRAY T2´007
4. Simo Ahoniemi
5. Viljami Kutvonen
6. Ari Salminen
7. Sebastian Trzaska
8. Christer Andersson 9. Miko Teponoja XRAY T2´007
10. Teppo Kauppinen XRAY T2´007
Jarrko's T2 (click to enlarge)
The Prostock final run was clean, with Mustonen taking the win from Jokinen and Salmen. Overall, it was Mustonen in 1st, Salmen in 2nd, and Jokinen in 3rd.
1. Jarkko Mustonen (TQ) XRAY T2
2. Henry Salmén
3. Santeri Jokinen
4. Arto Heinonen
5. Jussi Neirola 6. Jukka Penttinen XRAY FK´04
7. Matti Korvenmaa XRAY T2
8. Ari Lappi 9. Risto Koskinen XRAY T2
10. Jyri Konoila