Int. one-make series newsletter 09_2017
GT3 Cup Challenge Finland
April 30, 2017 Bikernieki Circuit, Latvia, Riga
Season 2017 - Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Finland racing kicked off!
Three days of racing at Latvia?s capital Riga proved to be a straight gold flush for 20-year old Junior Program driver Jussi Kuusiniemi. Jussi was fastest on Friday?s qualifier, controlled the wet race on Saturday and reached the chequered flag first on Sunday.
Looking at the results only doesn?t necessarily give the correct picture of the weekend?s races. Jussi Kuusiniemi had to work hard to keep another Junior Program-driver, Roope Rinne-Laturi, behind him. At the qualifier Roope, three years junior to Jussi, was only some hundreds of a second slower than Kuusiniemi. Jussi in turn was very much in control during the wet & cold race on Saturday but Roope managed to squeeze in the fastest lap and secured pole position to Sunday?s start.
Sunday at Bikernieki was overcast but with the exception of some very light drizzle there was no rain and the track dried for the early afternoon start. Roope Rinne-Laturi could not maintain the pole position advantage and Jussi Kuusiniemi clinched the lead before first corner. The youngsters drove off the rest of the field neck to neck and as Roope made his first attempt to pass Jussi he made a slight mistake in breaking and spun. Luckily enough Roope Rinne-Laturi could continue the race and although he lost a few positions when recovering from the spin, he did gain the #2 position before the chequered flag.
Jussi Kuusiniemi was satisfied with the weekend?s results and pointed out that he still needs to put in more mileage on his 997 to get things right. Doing currently his military service does limit the testing opportunities but Jussi is confident that before the next race at Ahvenisto Circuit on June 02-04 he is ready for the challenge!
Roope Rinne-Laturi confirmed that while the mistake he made may have lost him the race and could have been avoided he was reasonably satisfied with the overall results. He is also looking forward to the next race and ? no doubt ? these two young men will again be the ones to beat.
Tommi Haru was extremely fast on the wet track on Saturday and kept similar pace as the front runners for the first half of the race. Slight issues with tire pressures forced him to slow down to secure safe 3rd place. On Sunday Raimo Niemi was the one to clinch 3rd position in a similar manner as Tommi did on Saturday. Ari Laivola (4th) and Tommi Haru (5th) had a good and fair fight for the 4th position.
Rookie Jim Rautiainen improved his pace over the weekend and will be a serious contender for the podium places in the upcoming races!
For more information check: http://www.gt3cup.fi