Finnish National season started at Hyvinkää. As usual in Finland Saturday was 2wd and Sunday was 4wd day. Weather was fantastic whole weekend. Hyvinkää track is pretty old, bumpy and dusty, but still most of people really like the layout. Track is pretty big also and got some highspeed sections. I knew the track will blown out little bit, so I just tried to get both my cars easy to drive.
Saturday morning two rounds of controlled practice in little damp conditions but for the first qualifier track dried out.
Q1 was crazy close with me and Karri Salmela. I heard announcer telling the difference is like 0.1 all the time. On the last lap I came little sideways from the big double and Karri TQed Q1. Super close!
Q2 my car felt little bit better when track tried out more and I was able to TQ all rest of the rounds pretty easily. Karri Salmela lined up 2nd on the grid and Toni Niinivirta 3rd with his Xray XB2 Dirt Edition!
finals Karri really put some pressure me but I just held my line and he
wasn't able to overtake. At the end I won first two mains with pretty
comfortable gap, so I could enjoy and watch last A-main!
2wd Overall results:
1. Joel Valander - XRAY
2. Karri Salmela - Team Associated
3. Toni Niinivirta - XRAY
4. Konsta Saarinen - XRAY
5. Mikko Luopajärvi - Team Associated
6. Juha Aromaa - Team Losi Racing
7. Oskari Mäki - Team Associated
8. Jani Hovi - Team Losi Racing
9. Antti Silvennoinen - Team Associated
10. Tuomo Otsavaara - XRAY
Then it was time for 4wd! In morning practice my car was feeling bit hard to drive, but we discussed setup together with team EuroRC/Xray and got the car dialed in for Q1.
In Q1 my car felt really good, maybe little slow but its not bad when track is that bumpy. I was able to TQ first three rounds and lock the TQ! Karri lined up again second and Konsta Saarinen did some solid runs and lined-up third!
First final was just crazy. Karri passed me nicely on first lap, but on second lap Karri came sideways from the big double and I hit him full throttle when he was sideways in front of me. We both fly off the track and I also tangled with some other drivers and I was almost dead last and half lap from the leader. I started to push and did some nice overtakes, Karri did mistakes and I found myself leading the race! For second final I just did clean laps and finished 1st with big gap and won the race!
4wd Overall results:
1.Joel Valander - XRAY
2. Karri Salmela - Team Associated
3. Konsta Saarinen - XRAY
4. Mikko Luopajärvi - Team Associated
5. Toni Niinivirta - XRAY
6. Juha Aromaa - Team Losi Racing
7. Jani Hovi - Team Losi Racing
8. Eeli Vieno - XRAY
9. Valtteri Eklund - XRAY
10. Jamiel Gabrielsson - Team Associated
"Awesome way to start outdoor/national season with clean sweep! I was also very happy that XRAY was most re-presentede car in both A-mains and everyone was really happy how their cars worked! I want to say thanks to my sponsors Xray, EuroRC, Hobbywing, Highest, Hudy, EV-Peak and TShades for support! Can't wait to next round."
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