It was time to the first race of the year for me as the legendary series in Finland called "Winter Jumps" continued last weekend. There was again good amount of entries as around 100 drivers from all around Finland participated to the race. Friday was free practice until 9PM. After that track crew did a new layout for the race.
In the Saturday morning we had two controlled practice rounds, and they re-seeded all drivers by best three consecutive laps. I was third after practice and Xray XB2 2016 was feeling good. qualification heats where super tight battle's with top three drivers. We had four qualification heats and I finished two of them on second positions. I started from third on the grid with my Hobbywing powered Xray for triple A-Mains behind Karri Salmela and Samppa Orhanen.
I finished third overall and lost a tiebreaker for second place by 0.4 seconds.
1. Karri Salmela Associated
2. August Poutiainen Durango
3. Joel Valander Xray XB2
4. Samppa Orhanen Schumacher
5. Markku Honkanen Durango
6. Max Mört Schumacher
7. Lari Jäppinen Xray
8. Jarno Siltanen Schumacher
9. Touko Silpola Schumacher
10. Jani Hovi Yokomo
Then It was time for 4wd on Sunday morning.
Again two rounds of controlled practice and my car was feeling really good. First qualification I just wanted a clean drive with no mistakes and I got a solid third place. For second qualification I switched to 4 degree caster blocks and it gave me a lot more rotation. I was only one who was able to do 20 lap run. And I was first with a comfortable gap to second place. I was also able to win third qualification round.
I was starting on second place for 4wd triple A-mains behind Ari Heinonen. In first final I was driving behind Ari and he lost electricity on the straight. I was able to cruise to easy win. In second final I was pushing really hard to catch Ari but then I had a small touch to the wall on the corner table and I spin out, and I finished on 4th position. It was time for last final and I had a really good shot for the win. Ari did a mistake on first lap and after that I was just able to cruise and control the lead to guys behind me. I got a 4wd overall win!
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1. Joel Valander Xray XB4 2016
2. August Poutiainen Durango
3. Ari Heinonen Durango
4. Max Mört Schumacher
5. Samppa Orhanen Schumacher
6. Markku Honkanen Durango
7. Jarno Siltanen Schumacher
8. Tomi Salonen HB
9. Karri Salmela Team Associated
10. Lauri Ruotsalainen Durango
Report written by Joel Valander
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