The first round of the biggest RC racing series in Finland, the Winter Jumps was held at the Fullspeed RC Indoor Arena in Vantaa, Finland, with a new record of 122 entries in the two classes. The Fullspeed RC Indoor Arena is a huge permanent 3000m2 indoor facility in Vantaa, Finland. The arena features a huge 35x25m, 875m2, astro turf track, a full-size touring track and two beginner tracks.

The race was held at the astro turf track and the competition was very high. The layout was fast with difficult jump sections and with the race featuring 4 former Euros A-main finalists the racing was sure to be tight. The 2WD race had a record breaking 74 drivers featuring Euros and EOS A-main finalists like Joona Haatanen, Joel Valander, Karri Salmela and Pekko Iivonen. These drivers showed good pace from the start and along with Konsta Saarinen, Lauri Ruotsalainen and Tuomo Otsavaara these were the drivers dominating the qualifying.

Joona managed to secure the TQ spot with almost perfect driving before Karri Salmela in second and Pekko Iivonen in third. Joel took fourth with a better tie-braker than Lauri in fifth before Tuomo Otsavaara in sixth and Konsta Saarinen in seventh. After them young driver Jamiel Gabrielsson and local driver Arttu Syrjänen proved that their hard training is paying off by taking the eighth and ninth place. The fight for the last spot in the main final was between this summer’s +40 World Champions Teppo Kauppinen and Markku Honkanen with Teppo just taking the last spot on the tie-breaker.

In the Finals Joona showed why he is the man to beat in Finland and took a convincing victory in the first two finals. Behind him Karri finished second with the fight for third going down to the last final. Valander, Otsavaara and Ruotsalainen all held the third position for a while but eventually Valander showed the most experience and managed to secure the third position before Otsavaara in fourth and Ruotsalainen in fifth.

2WD Buggy final results:

  1.  Joona Haatanen Team Associated
  2. Karri Salmela Team Associated
  3. Joel Valander Xray
  4. Tuomo Otsavaara Xray
  5. Lauri Ruotsalainen Team Associated
  6. Konsta Saarinen Xray
  7. Jamiel Gabrielsson Team Associated
  8. Arttu Syrjänen Team Associated
  9. Pekko Iivonen Schumacher
  10. Teppo Kauppinen Team Associated

The 2wd Schumacher junior awards went to Jamiel Gabrielsson and Theo Ingman.

In the 4WD class the track layout was new featuring some very tricky jump sections and a huge double jump that was sure to challenge the drivers. The four rounds of qualifying actually had four different drivers having a TQ round but in the end the overall TQ went to Joel Valander before Konsta Saarinen in second, Karri Salmela in third and Joona Haatanen in fourth.

In the first Final Joel started the last lap leading with Joona aggressively searching for an opportunity to overtake. In the huge double jump Joona managed to perfectly hit the inside of the landing and managed to squeeze past Joel to take the win in the first final. The second final looked the same when Joel started the last lap leading while Joona was chasing him down all he could. This time the big double took its toll on Joel’s car with an technical problem in the landing meant Joona overtook Joel who still managed to finish second since no-one else managed to reach the last lap. This meant Joona secured the victory and left Joel in the pole position for second place. However Konsta, who had been showing great pace through the day, was still in the mix for the second place with a win in the last final and sure enough after some intense battle Konsta managed to win the last final handing him the second place before Joel who had to settle for third place.

4WD Buggy final results:

  1. Joona Haatanen Team Associated
  2. Konsta Saarinen Xray
  3. Joel Valander Xray
  4. Karri Salmela Team Associated
  5. Pekko Iivonen Schumacher
  6. Tuomo Otsavaara Xray
  7. Ilari Langenoja Xray
  8. Markku Honkanen Team Associated
  9. Arttu Syrjänen Team Associated
  10. Jarno Siltanen Schumacher

The 4wd Schumacher junior awards went to Joni Salminen and Olli Viitanen.

Thanks to Max Söderlund (Winter Jumps) for the report.