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Race report by Pekka Koivula click to enlarge
Ari-Pekka´s T2´007
(click to enlarge)
The fifth round (and the first outdoor race) of the 2007 Fintrack Nationals was held at Hyvinkää. The Hyvinkää track is largest asphalt track in Finland, approximately 260m long, and the layout is in quite easy and fast with medium grip. All of the fastest drivers were there, including the likes of Teemu Leino, Juho Levänen and Simo Ahoniemi.

In the summer season the race schedule is as follows. Saturday was all electric classes, while Sunday was for nitro touring cars.

Saturday click to enlarge
Pekka´s T2´007
(click to enlarge)
Some of the drivers have had some track time before this race and some did not. After the practice heats it was clear that Teemu, Juho and Simo would be hard to beat.

After 4 rounds of qualifying Juho Levänen took 1st ahead of Teemu Leino and Simo Ahoniemi.
Team XRAY put 3 cars into the A-final. It was nice to see Ari-Pekka “Esa” Kyykkä join us the in final with his T2´007.

Finals click to enlarge
Teemu´s T2´007
(click to enlarge)
The top 3 in the finals were very close. All three Juho, Teemu and Simo won one final but it was Juho who took the whole race again ahead of Teemu in 2nd and Simo in 3rd.

Final Results Modified:
1. Juho Levänen
2. Teemu Leino XRAY T2´007
3. Simo Ahoniemi
4. Christer Andersson
5. Pekka Koivula XRAY T2´007
6. Sebastian Trzaska
7. Teemu Rytsy
8. Ari- Pekka Kyykkä XRAY T2´007
9. Viljami Kutvonen
10.Kenneth Söderg?rd

Sunday click to enlarge
Teemu Leino in pits
(click to enlarge)
On Sunday it was time to start our first nitro touring race. All of the fastest nitro drivers were there, including Teemu Saarinen, Tony Raikas, Teemu Leino and the Kalves brothers.

Team XRAY had a strong team for the race: Teemu Leino, Pekka Koivula, Daniel Kalves, Marko Salminen.

Teemu Leino was the only driver who had driven the car before the race and had some experience with the setups.

In qualifying I ran my motor in and was slow because of that, but the car felt very good at the beginning. When the speed came up it was clear that we needed more steering to the car. In qualifying, Teemu was fast in all rounds and was 2nd after four runs. I made my best result in the last run and was 5th. I was very comfortable with the car at that point.

Top 4 were:
1. Tony Raikas
2. Teemu Leino Team XRAY NT1
3. Sebastian Trzaska
4. Teemu Saarinen

click to enlarge
Pekka Koivula in pits
(click to enlarge)
Before the semi-finals I made some changes to my setup to get my car to turn better. Also others in our team were testing things all day and their cars felt better in every run.

In the semi-final I started in 1st and with Daniel in 2nd place. I got good start at the beginning of the 20min semi-final and after few laps my lead was about 5 second ahead of Daniel who was running safely in 2nd place. I won the semi-final with Daniel in 2nd.

The car was very good in the semi-final and the break between the semi and final was only 20mins so I did not change my setup at all, just put on new tires for the final.

click to enlarge
Top ten in gas touring
(click to enlarge)
In the final I got a good start and after a few laps I was 3rd. In the beginning Leino had some problems with his engine and lost some time because of it. I had some good and close racing with Teemu Saarinen until about 20min mark, when my car started to work very well and I started to drive away from Teemu who made some small mistakes. After 30mins the margin between me and Teemu was 7sec… then I started to save my tires and drive more smoothly. At the end it was quite easy for me to win the race ahead of Teemu Saarinen and Sebastian Trzaska.

Top 10 after 45min final:

1. Pekka Koivula XRAY NT1

2. Teemu Saarinen
3. Sebastian Trzaska
4. Tom Kalves
5. Teemu Rytsy
6. Teemu Leino XRAY NT1
7. Jomi Pulli
8. Viljami Kutvonen
9. Tony Raikas
10. Daniel Kalves XRAY NT1

I was very happy with the performance of the NT1 and was surprised how well it reacted to small setup changes. The car was very easy to drive but still had a lot of steering.

I want to thank my super fast mechanic Juho Levänen for helping me in the finals.

Pekka Koivula
Team XRAY Finland

Images copyright © PRfoto


Teemu Leino T2'007 Set-up sheet.

Pekka Koivula T2'007 Set-up sheet.