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The second race of the FinTrack Tour took place in Ylistaro on February 25-26. The tour was held in a new sports hall with good facilities, and was organized in cooperation with home club EPUA and VUA who will host the 2007 EC in electric off-road.

The track was built on same type of carpet as the previous FinTrack tour in Kuusankoski, and the track layout was a combination of fast corners and hairpins. The carpet got super-high traction due to the 1/12 race on Saturday, with some drivers were even suffering from traction rolling in 1/12th scale – proving the level of traction!

According to FinTrack Tour rules, 1/12 and stock touring classes were raced on Saturday and Prostock and Modified touring classes on Sunday. Once again most of the Finnish drivers (total 100 drivers) were hungry to compete against each other to see who was fastest this time.

Saturday – Touring Stock click to enlarge
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Saturday started with two controlled practice rounds followed by the 2 of 4 qualifying system and finals.

In stock class the qualifying rounds were very good competition with few drivers able to take the coveted TQ spot. After finishing qualifying we saw very good performance by young XRAY drivers, who put five cars into the A-final!

Starting order after qualifying in stock:
1 Matias Kuusinen
2 Jussi Neirola XRAY T2
3 Harri Lukkari
4 Jaakko Sernola XRAY FK05
5 Otto Laurila
6 Vertti Aito XRAY T2
7 Kim Haapaharju XRAY FK05
8 Miika Laurila XRAY FK05

9 Tomi Mairue
10 Lauri Aulin

Final results of A-final in stock
1 Jaakko Sernola XRAY FK05

2 Harri Lukkari
3 Matias Kuusinen
4 Otto Laurila
5 Vertti Aito XRAY FK05
6 Jussi Neirola XRAY T2
7 Miika Laurila XRAY FK05

8 Tomi Mairue
9 Lauri Aulin
10 Kim Haapaharju XRAY FK05

Congratulations go to all the drivers for the A-main finish, but especially to XRAY and my clubmates Jaakko “Jake” Sernola for taking his very first victory with style from 4th on the grid and Miika Laurila for taking his first A-final position in his second race ever with a final 7th position! That’s a super performance and skills from such a young driver!

Sunday – Prostock and Modified click to enlarge
Vesa's T2
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Sunday started with the same schedule as Saturday, with two controlled practice rounds followed by 2 of 4 qualifying. Traction became after the Saturday racing, and some drivers had problems with traction rolling. After practice it was obvious that the race was going to be very consistent with some 20 drivers doing very good lap times.

In my set-up I changed my body from the Mazda6 to the Stratus 3AP for more on-power steering and more stability, but there was still some sharp handling in 180deg hairpin corners. I also changed the rear camber link from the lower/long position to the upper/long position and added a 2mm shim under the camber link to get the car more stable while trying not to lose any steering when aggressively coming into 180deg corners like in battles in finals. My car had superb steering through all corners while still being very stable at the same time.

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Pauli's T2
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Juho Levänen took TQ in the first round. I finished 5th only some 3-4sec behind, followed by Pauli Helin also in the top 10 in the first round. Pekka Koivula was unlucky and got a stop-and-go penalty for nothing.

Sakke took TQ in the second round. My battery dumped prematurely, putting me in 17th position. Pauli did well and got into the top 10 position in this round with his T2.

In third round I finished 5th with my T2 again and secured an A-final start, along with Pekka who also stayed in the top 10 in this round. Pauli was unlucky and broke his motor.

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Pekka's T2
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In the fourth (final) round there were still a couple of A-final positions open.

After super close-run qualifying standings in Modified, the order for the A-main were as follows:
1. Sakke Ahoniemi
2. Christer Andersson
3. Jouko Termonen
4. Sebastian Trzaska
5. Panu Vehniäinen
6. Viljami Kutvonen
7. Vesa Yli XRAY T2
8. Pauli Helin XRAY T2
9. Pekka Koivula XRAY T2

10. Jarno Siltanen

Once again in qualifying many fast drivers were close to the “A” but still found themselves in the B, C or even the D-final. Close is not enough, only 10 drivers go to the A-final. It has been nice to notice that the level in lower finals has also risen in this season with some regular A-finalists having very close racing in B and C-finals.

Prostock after qualifying rounds:
1. Lauri Hautanen XRAY FK04

2. Kenneth Södergård
3. Björn Södergård
4. J-P Huhtala XRAY FK05
5. Jarkko Mustonen
6. Jyri Konoila
7. Harri Nyman
8. Jukka Penttinen XRAY FK04
9. Risto Koskinen XRAY FK05
10. Henry Salmen XRAY T2

The most popular car in three classes’ A-finals was XRAY with a total of 14 rides in A-main finish: 5 in stock, 3 in modified and 6 in prostock!

In Prostock, Lauri Hautanen had already dominated in qualifying by taking TQ. In the finals, Lauri won the first 2 finals and took the overall win with style. Last race winner Jarkko Mustonen was also driving a very good race and was challenging Lauri for the win for a while but had some problems with electronics in the finals. Also Jukka Penttinen with his FK04, winner from last season, was very unlucky as he suffered very bad interference problems in the finals and could not drive at all. Amazingly, the XRAY FK04 seems to be dominating the Prostock class at the moment with style: 2 races, 2 TQ’s and 2 victories with FK04!

Prostock standings after three A-finals:

1 Lauri Hautanen XRAY FK04
2 Björn Södergård
3 Jyri Konoila
4 Kenneth Södergård
5 Jarkko Mustonen XRAY T2
6 Jukka-Pekka Huhtala XRAY FK05

7 Harri Nyman
8 Henry Salmen XRAY T2
9 Risto Koskinen XRAY FK05
10 Jukka Penttinen XRAY FK04

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In the Modified finals it was expected to see very close racing between all A-finalists. This time in the finals the race was mostly very fair except for a few crashes. All drivers were within few seconds, showing how competitive and high-level racing it was again. All top 20 drivers had their best lap times within 0,2s from the fastest lap of the race!!! Also about 20 drivers were within a lap in qualifying!

In the finals I finished 5th in first and 6th in second final rounds, with Pekka doing 10th and 7th , and Pauli taking 8th in the first two rounds. In last final Pekka and I were catching the 3rd place car with very close driving, and we were still not hitting each other; there were 3 drivers within 0,5s for over 2min! Unfortunately I got hit in the back of my car and dropped to 6th place Pekka took 5th in the last final and Pauli took 8th.

In the B-final, A-P Kyykkä drove well at his former home track and took a respectable 5th place with his T2 followed by local Tatu “Tatti” Rintamäki closely behind. Also young Joni Minkkinen made the “B” in this highly competitive race. Well done guys!

Final Results in Modified

1 Sakke Ahoniemi
2 Christer Andersson
3 Panu Vehniäinen
4 Sebastian Trzaska
5 Jarno Siltanen
6 Jouko Termonen
7 Vesa Yli XRAY T2
8 Pekka Koivula XRAY T2
9 Pauli Helin XRAY T2

10 Viljami Kutvonen

Some X statistics from the race….

- 3 classes; 2 victories and 1 TQ
- 47% of A-finalists used XRAY ride
- 40% (29 out of 73) of all drivers XRAY ride
- new cool XRAY one-size caps were spotted on many XRAY drivers at the pit

Jarkko Mustonen, FT Tour leader in Prostock class from his new X ride:

“I got the car built the night before and had zero testing with it, but it seemed to be very consistent and fast straight out of the box. The car had amazing cornering speed with awesome rear grip. I guess all I need is more luck in the next race and also some minor tweaks in the setup to suit my driving style. Best car ever.”

The next round of FinTrack tour will be held in Riihimäki near Helsinki on 1st and 2nd April at the European Champion Juho Levänen’s home club. The race is expected to be one of the biggest once again. I am confident to see more X domination there. The report will follow soon after the race.

Vesa Yli Set-up sheet.

Pekka Koivula Set-up sheet.