The fourth round of the Finnish 1/10 buggy indoor series, The Winter Jumps Series, was held at the Äänekoski indoor track located near Jyväskylä. The race was held at the really nice permanent indoor track at Äänekoski featuring a full-size off-road track and an even bigger on-road track. The slippery track surface and a tight driving line made it even tougher. Saturday was 2wd day and straight from the start it was evident that the fight for the win was to be between three drivers, Joona Haatanen (Team Associated), Pekko Iivonen (Schumacher)and local rising star Jamiel Gabrielsson (Team Associated). With J.Haatanen having problems in the first qualifying it was J.Gabrielsson who started with a TQ before P.Iivonen and Lauri Ruotsalainen (Team Associated) in third. After that J.Haatanen took charge of the qualifying winning the next three to claim the TQ followed by J.Gabrielsson in second, P.Iivonen in third, Konsta Saarinen (XRAY) in fourth, L.Ruotsalainen in fifth and Mikko Luopajärvi (Team Associated) in sixth. 

In the finals J.Haatanen once again showed his incredible speed and with everyone making mistakes on the difficult track, he used his experience and took the win in the first two finals. Going into the last final the fight for second was still super-tight with J.Gabrielsson, P.Iivonen, L.Ruotsalainen and M.Luopajärvi all in the fight. However J.Gabrielsson managed to drive a near-perfect race and won the final heat in front of P.Iivonen and J.Haatanen. 

Top 10 result:

  1. Joona Haatanen Team Associated
  2. Jamiel Gabrielsson Team Associated
  3. Pekko Iivonen Schumacher
  4. Mikko Luopajärvi Team Associated
  5. Lauri Ruotsalainen Team Associated
  6. Arttu Syrjänen Team Associated
  7. Konsta Saarinen Xray
  8. Juho Rajaniemi Team Associated
  9. Jarno Siltanen Schumacher
  10. Oskari Mäki Team Associated

Sunday was 4wd day and once again J.Haatanen, P.Iivonen, J.Gabrielsson and K.Saarinen were showing great speed. However J.Haatanen was the quickest with P.Iivonen just behind. K.Saarinen started third and J.Gabrielsson in fourth before Markku Honkanen (Team Associated) in fifth and L.Ruotsalainen in sixth. In the finals J.Haatanen took the win in the first two finals in front of P.Iivonen and K.Saarinen. P.Iivonen won the last heat after a tight battle withK.Saarinen securing the second spot on the podium while K.Saarinen came in third.

Top 10 result:

  1. Joona Haatanen Team Associated
  2. Pekko Iivonen Schumacher
  3. Konsta Saarinen Xray
  4. Jamiel Gabrielsson Team Associated
  5. Markku Honkanen Team Associated
  6. Lauri Ruotsalainen Team Associated
  7. Juho Rajaniemi Team Associated
  8. Topi Salminen Xray
  9. Jarno Siltanen Schumacher
  10. Mikko Luopajärvi Team Associated

J.Haatanen managed to secure the overall win of the popular winter series in both 2wd and 4wd before the fifth round that will be held at the Vaasa permanent indoor track hosted by the same crew that hosted the IFMAR 2011 worlds. The series has so far already had over 100 participants in 2wd and 70 in 4wd and the series standings can be found here.

Thanks to Max Söderlund for the report.