The 2018 Finnish Rally Championship (FRC) series kicked-off last weekend in the Arctic Lapland Rally driven the snowy landscape of the Arctic Circle. This year a total of a hundred and thirty-five cars, including the RallyTeamKasing’s driver/co-driver pair Jukka Kasi and Henri Ania, took on the challenging roads of Rovaniemi. Kasi and Ania finished tenth in the FRC 1 class in the two-day rally covering over 250 SS-kilometers – ultimately taking home the 9th highest points in the FRC1-series.
The Arctic Rally marked the first winter-season-rally that the RallyTeamKasing drove with the Skoda Fabia R5. Preparations for the Arctic Rally began earlier in January when they drove the first winter-tests in Kuusamo Finland. Necessary adjustments were made to the car and important mileage on snow was covered before the opening of the season.
The competition week in Rovaniemi commenced with the four-day recce session, while the final tunings for both the car and the driver were made on Thursday afternoon’s “Shake Down” SS, which received praises from the team.
– The recce is always quite a long session, but we’ve evolved in it so that kilometer after another the notes just appear on the paper almost unnoticeably, Kasi sums up his feeling at the end of Thursday. Co-driver Ania, in his turn, praised the test SS as one of the best ones so far.
The two-day Rally commenced at Friday afternoon in the twenty-four kilometer-long Aittajärvi SS1. Overall, Kasi and Ania cleared the first five stages of the Rally with the 10th fastest time in their FRC1 class. Friday’s stages that varied in length and nature were for both the driver and co-driver’s liking:
– The feeling was great throughout the entire Friday – conditions, car, note and driver worked well together, Kasi summarizes the atmosphere of the day.
– Especially Kaihuavaara SS3 was somehow my favourite, adds co-driver Ania.
The second day of the Rally kicked off early on Saturday along with a change in the driving conditions as the loose snow on the road surface made driving more difficult and the swirling snow reduced visibility. The extra set of lights did not bring the much-hoped relief as the dry frozen snow hovered above the road. As a result of a “short visit on a snow bank” at SS8 Sarriojärvi the time gap to the leading pair grew longer compared to the consistent driving on the other stages.
In terms of length, the last three SSs amounted to one normal FRC-rally – the legendary last Ristilampi SS11 alone extending nearly 50 kilometers. Thanks to smooth driving, the RallyTeamKasing pair regained 10th position in the FRC1 class, crossing the finish line in Arctic Lapland Rally for the fourth time in their ”rally-career”.
– We walk away from this Rally with a lot more experience and are very satisfied with the 10th position in the highly competitive FRC1 class, Kasi and Ania commented after the competition.
Thanks to Printsport for doing amazing work which enabled us to focus on driving fully.
Text: Info | Rally Team Kasing
Photos: Taneli Niinimäki, Hannu Rainamo, and Timka Seppänen