On Sunday, May 18th it was time to start our nitro touring car championship series which includes four races of which the three best will be counted. All of the fastest nitro drivers were there, including the likes of Teemu Saarinen, Tony Raikas, Teemu Leino, the Kalves brothers, and of course, me.
It was wet in the morning but the weather forecast predicted it should dry by noon. So the first half of the day was spent waiting and talking with team mates and other competitors. It was already the 2nd round of qualifying by the time the track started to dry. This of course made it difficult for everybody to drive fast immediately, including me because this was my first run of the season.
By the third and final round, the track was dry and it was obvious that this would be the only chance to get a good result. Teemu was super fast in this round but had problems with his transponder, which counted only 10 laps. I had problems with interference, but still managed to get a solid 2nd place. Daniel Kalves was also doing well and was in 4th.
Top 4 after qualifying:
1. Tony Raikas 2. Pekka Koivula XRAY NT1
3. Sebastian Trzaska 4. Daniel Kalves XRAY NT1
In 1/4-final and semi-final, Teemu had easy runs and managed to get into 5th spot in the final. The 4th XRAY NT1 in the final was Janne Westerlund.
In the final, Teemu was again very fast and got into 1st place after 5 minutes. I had problems with understeering for the entire 30min final but I managed to drive consistent laps through final so the result was good. At the 10min mark Tony had interference problems and broke his car on the main straight. After that I didn’t have much to do until the 20min mark when Teemu broke his 2nd gear and had to drive only with 1st gear. By that time we were only 10-15sec apart with 10 minutes to go. I pushed as hard as possible but it was not enough and at the end we were separated by only 3 seconds.
1. Teemu Leino XRAY NT1
2. Pekka Koivula XRAY NT1
3. Sebastian Trzaska
4. Tom Kalves 5. Daniel Kalves XRAY NT1
6. Antti Ollinmäki
7. Sami Munck
8. Joni Minkkinen
9. Tony Raikas 10. Janne Westerlund XRAY NT1
This was a good start to my new season and of course for Team XRAY.
The next race will be in Hyvinkää and Team XRAY will be there!