Over the week end the annual Nordic Championships were held in sunny and hot Finland. This year the race was more international than normal, even though the Danes and Norwegians once again didn’t show up. There were drivers from Finland and Sweden obviously, but also Estonia, France, Italy and Germany! The race was incredibly close, with the fastest drivers being Joseph Quagraine, Ari Heinonen and Teemu Leino.
In qualifying all but one round was decided with mere tenths of a second, often with all three drivers separated with less than 1 second after the 5 minute qualifying rounds. In the end JQ managed to TQ from Ari in 2nd and Teemu in 3rd. Throughout qualifying the top Swedish drivers, Christoffer Svensson and Andreas Edvinsson found their speed, and were looking stronger for the mains.
The 60 minute main was one from a Hollywood movie. Ari, Teemu and JQ pulled away from the pack, but unfortunately JQ started having some engine tune issues after the first pitstop. After retuning it twice during the race, he lost touch with the leading drivers. Teemu took the lead and got a small gap on Ari. Until about 3/4 of the race was done, this was how they remained. Then things started, happening, fast. First JQ ran out of fuel, and coasted over the line. After restarting, he was just over a lap down, in 5th place. JQ managed to get back into 3rd, and onto the tail of Ari, 1 lap down. Then Teemu ran out of fuel on track. Ari inherited the lead.
On the final fuelstop, 5min from the end, JQ and Ari entered the pits at the same time, with JQ one lap behind, and Ari flamed out. It took exactly one lap to refire, and Ari exited the pits right next to JQ, it was crazy! And at this time positions 3-4 and 5 were just a couple of seconds behind! Basically anyone in the top 5 could win the 60min main with only 5 minutes to go! At this time, JQ had a good rhythym going, and was able to get into the lead, and hold it to the end. What a great race!