17.9.2012 - Esapekka Lappi and PrintSport Racing had a perfect rally season 2012
In seventh and final round of Finnish Rally Championship series, which was driven in the middle of September in the region of Kerava, was finished exactly like the same as all previous six rallyes had end: Young and talented rally driver mr. Esapekka Lappi and PrintSport Racing collected highest trophies from the Talotekniikka 10 FRC-rally as well as from the whole Championship series. Therefore Esapekka and PrintSport Racing won all seven rounds and its' an accomplishment where no-one have ever done in the history of the series. Lappi was also fastest in over 70% of the stages - and all of this happened just his first 4WD season.
More success for PrintSport Racing was driven by mr. Joni Nikko, who was second fastest in 4WD and mr. Ville Hautamäki, who was fastest in 2WD. Hautamäki also collected Finnish rally Championship series silver medal. Furthermore PrintSport Racing collected gold and bronze medals in Teams Championship series.
- It's a great feeling to end Finnish Rally Championship season for the results which are more than our goals were. Esapekka Lappi showed his talent by winning all rounds aswell as made a huge performance in WRC Rally Finland. Furthermore gold and bronze medals in Finnish Rally Championship series also tells how well and seriously we've done our jobs so that our drivers could rally for top positions, Räikkönen tells.
- Success didn't come easily and there are lots of work behind of it. However we're very happy to say goodbye to Esapekka Lappi as he now enters for international rally arenas. We're very sure that we hear him a lot in the future, Räikkönen continues.
In ultimate Finnish Rally Championship series event, which included 10 special stages and 91,3 special stage kilometres mr. Esapekka Lappi and co-driver mr. Janne Ferm were approximately one minute faster than fellow competitor mr. Joni Nikko. In two final events Nikko and his co-driver mr. Jarno Ottman have
set a good pace which gives lots of boost for season 2013.
Also another Ford Fiesta S2000 driver mr. Kari Hämäläinen and his co-driver mr. Risto Pietiläinen made their seasons' best result by being sixth fastest 4WD and just 16 seconds slower than 3rd position. It's was a encouraging result for Hämäläinen who had increased a lot of his speed in past rallies.
Hautamäki fought silver medal
Another PrintSport Racing driver mr. Ville Hautamäki and co-driver mr. Ari-Pekka Hautanen celebrated victory and a Finnish Rally Championship series silver medal after a very intense event. It was a fourth silver medal for Hautamäki in his career.
- I was very exited for the whole day as I suffered some gearbox problems. Then at the final stages I suffered a small electrical problem and therefore it was a tight battle for victory, told Hautamäki.
- It has been said that silver medal is a lost medal, but in this year it definitely was a won medal for us. It really keeps me smiling, Hautamäki continues.
Kristian Sohlberg proved the performance of Citroen DS3 R3T rally car
International rally driver mr. Kristian Sohlberg made a one rally comeback to Finnish Rally Championship series with Citroen DS3 R3T rally car which is owned by mr. Pekka vihma. Sohlberg who was co-driven by mr. Peter Flythström was in excellent pace until in transit section of fourth stage they noticed that water pump belt was loosen and pump suffered a malfunction. Because they had no necessary spare parts with them, Sohlberg and Flythström was forced to retire the event.
- I started well and without any risks I was in top speed. However this time technical problem forced me to end the game. Citroen DS3 R3T is a fast and superb rally car, Sohlberg tells.
Another PrintSport Racing driver mr. Petri Itkonen and co-driver mr. Janno Older also drove their best-ever result in Finnish Rally Championship series. Fourth position in 2WD is a brilliant result. Also mr. Juha Salminen and co-driver Mikko Laakso kept fastest pace in group F with their BMW M3 rally car.
Now as all Finnish Rally Championship series rounds are driven, PrintSport Racing services all rally cars and starts driver negotiations for season 2013. Esapekka Lappi says goodbye to Finnish Rally Championship series and continues his career in international arenas.
His next rally is European Rally Championship event which is to be driven in Poland at the final weekend of September. It'll be his first-ever event as a manufactuter driver as he and co-driver Janne Ferm sits behind the steering wheel of Skoda Fabia Super 2000.
Final results Talotekniikka 10 FRC Rally, Kerava 14.-15.9.2012
Group: 1 / SM1: 4WD
1. Esapekka Lappi & Janne Ferm, Ford Fiesta S2000, 44:27,7
2. Joni Nikko & Jarno Ottman, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +52,4sec
3. Sakari Vierimaa & Mika Rajasalo, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, +2:00,5sec
6. Kari Hämäläinen & Risto Pietiläinen, Ford Fiesta S2000, 2:16,9sec
Group: 2 / SM2: Super
1. Ville Hautamäki & Ari-Pekka Hautanen, Honda Civic Type-R, 47:12,0
2. Jaro Kinnunen & Mikael Korhonen, Honda Civic Type-R, +3,5sec
3. Kalle Pinomäki & Matti Kaskinen, Renault Clio R3, +26,0sec
ret. Kristian Sohlberg & Peter Flythström, Citroen DS3 R3T, water pump
Group: 3 / SM3: 2WD-R
1. Joonas Lindroos & Pasi Kilpeläinen, Citroen C2 R2, 47:48,0
2. Jukka Korhonen & Tapio Suominen, Ford Fiesta R2, +5,0sec
3. Andreas Amberg & Matti Heikkinen, Ford Fiesta R2, +7,6sec
4. Petri Itkonen & Janno Older, Citroen C2 R2, +1:53,4sec
Group: 18 / Group F, F2 over 1600 cc
1. Juha Salminen & Mikko Laakso, BMW M3, 49:15,7
2. Marko Malinen & Kimmo Pahkala, Honda Integra Type-R, +1:49,2sec
3. Pekka Kaakinen & Harri Savolainen, BMW 325i, +2:12,9sec
Finnish Rally Championship final results 2012:
1. Esapekka Lappi, Ford Fiesta S2000, 165 points
2. Juha Salo, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X R4 RS, 117 points
3. Riku Tahko, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, 62 points
5. Joni Nikko, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 48 points
16. Mattias Therman, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS / Ford Fiesta S2000, 13 points
17. Jukka Korhonen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 10 points
18. Kari Hämäläinen, Ford Fiesta S2000, 10 points
19. Arto Juolahti, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 6½ points
20. Tuomas Skantz, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, 4 points
22. Mikko Eskelinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, 3 points
SM2-Super2- ja SM3-2WD-R groups:
1. Joonas Lindroos, Citroen C2 R2 / Honda Civic Type-R, 184,50 points
2. Ville Hautamäki, Honda Civic Type-R, 149,20 points
3. Andreas Amberg, Ford Fiesta R2, 129,30 points
15. Petri Itkonen, Citroen C2 R2, 25,48 points
Teams Championship series:
1. Printsport 1: 161 points (Esapekka Lappi, Mikko Eskelinen, Joni Nikko, Jukka Hiltunen, Arto Juolahti)
2. Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Finland, 142 points (Juha Salo & Jukka Korhoen)
3. Printsport 2, 137 points (Kari Hämäläinen, Tuomas Skantz, Mattias Therman, Esapekka Lappi, Joni Nikko)
4. Tommi Mäkinen Racing, 123½ points (Mikko Pajunen, Markku Pärssinen, Juha Pasanen, Jukka Metsälä, Jari Kihlman)
5. Hannu's Rally Team, 42 points (Mikko Lehessaari)
6. Jan Dohmen Rally Team, 19½ points (Kees Burger)
7. Suzor Rally Team, 17 points (Evgeny Cherkasov)