Ahvenisto 50 years: “King of the Ring”
The race celebrating the 50th annuversary of the Ahvenisto race circuit offerd a lot of entertainment to the audience, who had found their way also on site to see the excitement.
In the qualifying of BMW Xtreme Marko and Miikka in #12 got 7th and 8th places for the short races, which gave the pole position for the long one to which the individual quali times are added together and the top 8 starts in reverse order. Milla and Mika got places 10 and 19 for the short ones and started for the long race from 10th place with car #21.
Marko fought for places in the top crossing the line in the end on 6th place. Milla also fought her way up the grid finishing in 16th place. In the second start the fight was even harder when Mika lifted himself from 10th to 6th place. Miikka battled in the same group switching positions about three times a lap in average, finishing in 8th place.
The long 45 minute race had a lot of action including safety car and red flag. Marko missed one position in the start, but managed to keep the place even thorugh the restart after red flag and brought the car to the driver change in clear second place. Miikka brought it home safely. “It was a safe second place and we knew that the leader of the race has not entered the series, so I just had to bring home the highest points from the race.” Mika took maximum advantage of the restart and got up to 3rd place before the driver exchange. Milla was defending the place and managed to stay in top 10 for a long time before she was pushed out of the track twice dropping to 13th place. But the fight was good and the highest points for #12 were a good change for the hard season start.
Pärnu annual Suur Võidusõit
Suur Võidusõit in Pärnu were driven in changing climate; friday time qualifyings were driven in wet conditions unlike on sundays last race when the sun shined brightly and warm. Pärnu race this year was quite exceptional for Mäkelä Racing Team as Miikka suprisingly took part in two classes jumping in to V8 Thunder cars class on the last minute. Ian Eric Wadén had an accident hurting his arm and was not able to drive the weekends races. GP Racing Service and Ian were thinking who to let the drive with the V8 on those wet conditions with minimal practice and would still be fast enough not to fall behind. Ian was 3rd in NEZ-points before the Pärnu weekend and it is allowed to announce 3 different drivers to collect points for one car in the NEZ-series. They ended up asking Miikka to drive and with small arrangements he was able to drive all Xtreme and V8 races. More about the V8 races later in this news thread.
In Xtremes teams tyre tactics went horribly wrong on both cars as the heavy rain didn’t give enough traction to our drivers to be able to open their new tyres propelly doing some bad lap times. Others had driven few laps in dry conditions with their race tyres before the qualifyings opening the surface of the tyre. Starting positions were quite bad for all but races went quite well as Miikka and Marko rose to 8th and 4th in their own short races. Milla and Mika on the other hand had some extra action in their own races. Milla took contact with one of the other drivers on the last lap dropping to last place with some repairing work to do. Mika took a hit already in the first corner dropping to last place but climbed back to 11th place in the race. On the long race Marko went up to 3rd place and Miikka continued the race and dropped to 4th place few laps before the finish line. Later though the winner of the race was disqualified for driving outside the race track giving Miikka and Marko the 3rd place. Mika started from 20th place and after a good climb up a rival driver made a suprisingly tight turn towards Mika while overtaking and they collided. Mikas and Millas car was so badly damaged that he could not continue and their race was over even before the driver change.
Miikka jumped in to the V8 car for the first time to a heavy rain practice just before the qualifyings. The qualifying and the first race was also in rain. In the qualifying Miikka was 7th for a decent start about half way on the grid. The first wet V8 race went well coming safely to finish on the 7th place with some fighting for the position for 6th.
To saturdays race the grid was based on the wet race lap times giving Miikka 9th place to start from. Both race for saturday were driven on dry track giving Miikka some pressure to drive the V8 first time on dry straight to race 2. Others went with brand new slick tyres and Miikka was with old used ones. But the race went suprisingly well as Miikka climbed all the way to 4th position also driving the 5th fastest lap time. For the last race Miikka got some newer not so much driven rear tyres as the previous ones were already really worn out. 4th place on the grid was empty and Miikka jumped behind the top 3 cars and stayed there for several laps until some gap started to grow between the top 3 and Miikka. “I was able to keep up for a few laps until I started to make so many mistakes and slips that I started to drive with the race pace I had gone used to and was mostly making sure to bring the car back in one piece as the next car behind had dropped quite far already aswell.”, Miikka commented on the last races 4th position result.
Special thank you for Ian Wadén and GP Racing Service for this unbelievable chance to test and even to race in the V8 Thunder class. Also thank you to the whole V8 community and V8 Thunder ry for a warm welcome to the race. Thank you!