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23.9.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka collect two podiums from chinese Shanghai events of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia - Finns in leading position of PRO-AM before final two rounds

After four Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season 2018 racing weekends the Flying Finns Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen were in second position in PRO-AM group, just two points behind leaders taiwanise Evan Chen and japanise Akihiro Asai.

Leipert Motorsport drivers entered fifth round, which was driven in chinese F1 circuit of Shanghai, with high hopes as their goals were set for two PRO-AM podium positions. For the two 50 minute events their preparations had gone according to their plans; Juuso Puhakka collected another victory in third event of Pan Delta Super Racing series which was driven in chinese Zhuhai and Eskelinen had spent a lot of time in spanish golf course to practice some patience.

In qualifyings Eskelinen secured 7th position and Puhakka nearly missed pole position and was 2nd fastest in overall results. In Saturdays' event they made a perfect job and collect a victory and highest Championship points in PRO-AM group. In overall standings they were 4th fastest, just five seconds slower than their australian team mates Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat.

Finns drove a technically trouble-free run and were able to pass their worst Championship rivals as Eskelinen took an excellent start and pushed hard for whole his 22 minute stint. After drivers change Puhakka, once again, showed his incredible skills and passed his fellow competitors as he also was able to match his speed against PRO-group drivers.

On podium their joy was genuine because with their victory their australian team mates also secured silver position in PRO-group for german Leipert Motorsport.

- In qualifying my 7th position guaranteed us excellent starting positions. Furthermore as I was able to get a good start and match my speed against top drivers, I'm very for my performance. For the whole season my couch Jani Kekoni has demanded me to develope my speed and after our 4th victory of the season he was a quiet man as me and Juuso took the highly hoped position and highest Championship points, Eskelinen tells.

- In his driving turn Mikko was able to minimize the gap for our worst rivals. When he delivered the car to me I really had a thrilling and enjoyful stint as I passed many PRO-AM and PRO-drivers. My racing engineer wasn't quite happy about me having a run against PRO-drivers because it had nothing to do with PRO-AM championship hopes. But it was fun to drive against drivers who have been in top for several years, young and highly talented Juuso Puhakka continues.

For Sundays event the duo entered in first row as Puhakka collected 2nd grid in qualifyings. Even both drivers made again top performance, they finished the event in 3rd position in PRO-AM because of pitlane drive thru they suffered because of false start. Still both drivers, as well as team manager Ingo Leipert were very happy for the podium positions his drivers took in two intense events. Because of one victory and one third position Finns collected two highly important Championship points more than their worst rivals and therefore they're both in same points leading the series as there are still final weekend to be driven in italian circuit of Vallelunga.

- In qualifyings I had earned my 2nd position. However it all went horrible wrong in start line as pole position driver, malaysian Afiq Yazid braked a bit just before the lights changed to green. I didn't react in time and I momentarely passed him before starting line and therefore I got a drive thru penalty, Puhakka tells and continues, - I drove four laps as a leading driver before coming to encounter that drive thru penalty which dropped us to 7th position in overall situation. After that I again was able to make fastest lap times so I'm learning all the time.

- Juuso delivered the car to me when we had driven around 30 minutes of the event. Even I did everything I could, I still couldn't catch my fellow competitors. Still third position in PRO-AM group is not bad at all, we're still quite dissapointed for the result as we expected to catch more. However from the weekend we managed to collect two Championship points more than our fellow rivals and therefore we have to be happy for the situation. It'll be very thrilling final weekend in Italy at November, Eskelinen shares his thoughts.

Leipert Motorsport australian team mates Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat had also a thrilling drive for PRO-group points. However at the final laps of the event they were forced to surrender to japanise PRO-AM winners Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai. Still their 4th position in overall standings was very worthy because it means that Ben Gerskowski has now all possibilities to drive for silver medal in season final which is to be driven at the middle of November in italian circuit of Vallelunga.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Shanghai 2018, Saturday September 22nd 2018: PRO-AM group, top-3
1. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 23 laps
2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +8,310sec
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +18,362sec

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Shanghai 2018, Friday September 23rd 2018: PRO-AM group, top-3
1. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 23 laps
2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +12,277sec
3. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +39,515sec

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 UNOFFICIAL standings 10/12 rounds, PRO-AM group: top-5:
1. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), 120 points
2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), 120 points
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 96 points
4. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS), 80 points
5. Max Wiser (ITA), 50 points

Click and view images from the events:

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My previous press releases:
- 31.07.2018 - Transmission failure ruined Vetomies rally for Mikko Eskelinen - Retirement from third position
- 23.07.2018 - Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen drove again nearly maximum result in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia
- 01.07.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka collect 27 points of 32 possible from Suzuka - PRO-AM leaders are only two points ahead
- 13.05.2018 - Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen collected their first-ever PRO-AM victory from Thailand
- 15.04.2018 - Puhakka and Eskelinen collect two podium positions from Malaysia - Victory was lost just by two seconds!
- 28.01.2018 - Eskelinen experienced deep dissapointment from Arctic Lapland Rally - Youngsters left all veteran drivers into roles of statistics
- 10.01.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen enters Arctic Lapland Rally with brand new Skoda Fabia R5 rally car - He faces 18 fellow R5 drivers in the rally
- Season 2017 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia press releases
- Season 2016 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe press releases
- Season 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe press releases
- Season 2014 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe press releases
- Season 2013 Portugal SuperCars Series Championship press releases
- Season 2012 Spanish GT Championship series press releases
- Season 2011 GT3 European Championship & Finnish Rally Championship press releases
- Season 2010 GT3 European Championship & Finnish Suomi Rally Cup press releases
- Season 2009 GT3 Finnish Racing Championship press releases
 
Mikko Eskelisen kotisivut on suunnitellut ja toteuttanut MediaGuru Jack Bacon - Digitaalisen median tuotantostudio - www.mediaguru.fi