In Finland Aki Kartunnen brought Joni Pekka Rajala’s winning streak to an end in the fifth round of the national championship at Oulo. There were 16 starters in the Supercar class for the penultimate round of the series and having posted a hat trick of event wins, Rajala this time found himself eased down to third as Kartunnen (Skoda Fabia) and Janne Kanerva (Citroen C4) took the top two places ahead of his Mitsubishi Lancer. Rajala was, however, still in winning form in Supernational where he took his fourth consecutive victory, leading home Osmo Lempinen (Volvo S40) and Sami Kiskola’s Fiesta.
Across the Baltic, the Swedish champioinship moved on to Haninge for the fifth of its six events. Supercar is a non-championship category and only three cars rolled up for this event, Johan Kristoffersson’s Scirocco running out best of the bunch, although the young Swede was beaten twice in the heats by Mats Ohman. Thomas Andersson (BMW 1) was the third starter. Linus Westman (BMW E30) was top qualifier for the Supernational class but was beaten in the final by Daniel Wall (S40) with Mikael Wall third in his relatively unusual Fiesta VI. The 2400cc Supernational division was won by Niclas Norstrom (BMW E36) with Kristian Bromark (Escort) second and B final winner Daniel Gillberg climbing to third in his Hyundai Accent. there were 17 starters in the Junior class, Anton Isaksson (BMW E36) the best of them ahead of the similar cars of Tommy Johansson and Rasmus Berggren.
The Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard hosted the latest round of the Rallycross Challenge in which Patrick Van Mechelen (Fiesta) took victory over the similar car of Pavel Koutny and Marcel Ottink’s Skoda Fabia. The win was far from straight forward for Van Mechelen whose car was blighted by steering problems through the heats. The car restored to full health for the final, the Belgian was only behind Koutny when he took the Joker Lap, but soon returned to the front for his first win in the series. Super1600 victory was taken by Czech Stanislav Susta (Fabia II) who was joined on the podium by Vaclav Veverka Jnr. (206) and Eric Giullemette (Clio). Danish visitor Jakob Teil Hansen (Fiesta took the TouringCar victory in his first start in the series, leading home Belgian pair Filip Baelus and Jos Sterkens (Volvo C30s).
In Norway Super1600 racer Malin Gjerstad stepped back to Bilcross and, driving a Saab 99, emerged as best of 71 female racers who took part in the ‘Landsfinale’ national championship event at Honefoss.
On a less happy note, other news from Norway included a statement from NMK Drammen confirming that it will not be offered a new lease on the Lyngas Motorbane when the current term expires at the end of the year. Lyngas Motorbane was the home of the Norwegian round of the European Rallycross Championship from 1980, running the event 25 times in a track that was carved out of an old quarry. A supremely atmospheric venue, the track had long been outgrown by major events, but hung on into the modern era and was the scene of some epic events.
In France, meanwhile, things look more positive in terms of venues. This weekend the French championship is rejoined after its summer break and visits the brand new Pont de Ruan circuit for the sixth of its nine events. And, a little further south, there is more good news about Faleyras where the new management of the track now its feet under the table. To mark what it hopes will be a renaissance, the ASACAF is organising an open test weekend on the undulating track. Run over the weekend of September 14-15, entry is free to drivers and spectators.
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