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15.4.2018 - Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen collect two podium positions from opening weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Victory was lost just by two seconds!

Lamborghini Super Trofeo series is celebrating its' 10th Anniversary and 5th ASIA Championship series season. In his long career Flying Finn Mikko Eskelinen has competed three seasons in European and two in Asia series. Now in opening round of 2018 Asia series, which was driven in traditional Malaysian circuit of Sepang, Eskelinen, age of 45, and his fellow team mate Juuso Puhakka, age of 19, collect two PRO-AM podium positions as they finished the event in 3rd and 2nd highest Championship poiints.

In tropical +39c heat the duo had superb qualifying sessions as Eskelinen took eight position and youngster Puhakka took front row and was 2nd fastest. He lost the Pole Position to his fellow australian team mate Ben Gersekowski just by 0,023 seconds. It was the first-ever pole PRO-AM position for series debytant. Eventually top-5 drivers drive Sepang 5,54kms circuit into 0,4 seconds from each others.

For the first event Eskelinen had a good start from eight position. After approximately 22 minutes of intense driving he defended the position with good performance. Then after drivers change Puhakka showed his talent and passed two fellow competitors before running out of time. Therefore sixth positoon in overall classifications and 3rd fastest in PRO-AM was a good start for the season.

On next day the race got a dramatical start as Leipert Motorsport aussie drivers Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat suffered a dissapointing retired from pole position. Because of technical issues their race ended before the race got underway and 2nd position driver Puhakka was raised to pole position.

In starting procedure Puhakka lost two positions because he had chosen a miserable driving line for the first tight right hand corner. Then he pushed pedal to medal and and was able to match his speed against his best rivals.

After drivers change Eskelinen was able to defend PRO-AM leading the position until final laps. However in penultimate lap Finn was passed by japanise team driver and therefore they had to satisfy for second PRO-AM positions which they lost just by 2,725 seconds. Second highest Championship points were a great addition to 3rd highest points they collect from the first race.

- Here in Sepang circuit eight staring positions means that top drivers gets an advantage which is highly impossible to catch. This also happened to me as I was the one who tried to avoid all collisions in first corner. I lost nearly eight seconds in first lap and that is too much. Then on next race I tried really hard to keep my fellow competitors behind but eventually one was able to pass me. Still I'm quite happy for my pace and therefore two podiums from first weekend was a superb result , Eskelinen tells.

- In both races, as well as, in qualifying my pace was really good, considering that I lack lots of experience compared to my fellow rivals. In first race I was able to pass two drivers and took my first-ever podium. In second race I had a miserable start and two fellow drivers passed me. However still I did a superb stint and bought the car in leading PRO-AM position for Eskelinen. I'm very happy for my first two Lamborghini Super Tofeo podiums ever, Puhakka shares his thoughts.

As there are still ten rounds to be driven, Puhakka and Eskelinen is currently in third position in PRO-AM stadings. Finns improved their pace from practice to qualifying and both races. They demonstrated they're very competitive PRO-AM pair as the season continues in three weeks at Thailand circuit of Buriram.

Eskelinen sees lots of potential in Puhakka

- Season 2018 is my 11th racing season in a row and this time I've seen quite many drivers with their various skills. During these years of experience I can say that Juuso has lots of potential to be one of the top drivers in Lamborghini Super Trofeo and therefore head forward in his career. In both events he matched his speed against manufacturer drivers and to be able to do that the driver has to be a exceptionally talented. I'm very proud to be his team mate, Eskelinen shares his thoughts.

- I never could have dream that I could be starting from Pole Position in my second-ever Lamborghini Super Trofeo event. Even I got a very bad start I'm very happy for my performance wholeout the intense weekend as I also set second fastest lap time, Puhakka tells.

Both events were won by iitalian Lamborghini Super Trofeo manufacturer driver Andrea Amici and Artur Janoz. Leipert Motorsport second car, which was run by aussies Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat were forced to retire both races due technical issues. In first race they suffered ball-bearing problems and in second a failure in fuel system.

Final Results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 Qualifying #1
1. Artur Janoz (POL) & Andrea Amici (ITA), 2.03,417 (PRO)
2. James Pull (GBR) & Jack Bartholomew (GBR), +0,439sec (PRO)
3. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda (IND), +0,493sec (PRO)
4. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +0,722sec (PRO-AM)
5. Richard Muscat & Ben Gersekowski (AUS), +0,892sec (PRO)
---
8. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), +2,239sec (PRO-AM)

Final Results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 Qualifying #2
1. Ben Gersekowski (AUS) & Richard Muscat (AUS), 2:04.001 (PRO)
2. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +0,023sec (PRO-AM)
3. Jack Bartholomew (UK) & James Pull (UK), +0,311sec (PRO)
4. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (MCO) & Prakaban Kumar (MAS), +0,327sec (PRO-AM)
5. Andrea Amici (ITA) & Artur Janoz (POL), +0,385sec (PRO)

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 1/12 event Apri 14th 2018, Sepang Malaysia
1. Andrea Amici (ITA) & Artur Janoz (POL), 24 laps (PRO 1.)
2. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda, +29,626sec (PRO 2.)
3. Akihiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), +33,027sec (PRO-AM 1.)
4. Jack Bartholomew (UK) & James Pull (UK), +34,523sec (PRO 3.)
5. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +37,57sec (PRO-AM 2.)
6. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +48,410sec (PRO-AM 3.)

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2/12 event Apri 15th 2018, Sepang Malaysia
1. Andrea Amici (ITA) & Artur Janoz (POL), 23 laps (PRO 1.)
2. Jack Bartholomew (UK) & James Pull (UK), +7,210sec (PRO 2.)
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +25,879sec (PRO-AM 1.)
4. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +28,605sec (PRO-AM 2.)
5. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda, +37,877sec (PRO 3.)
6. Akihiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), +38,333sec (PRO-AM 3.)

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 UNOFFICIAL standings 2/12 rounds, PRO-AM group, top-4:
1. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 28 points
2. Akihiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), 25 points
3. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 23 points
4. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS) & Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, 16 points


 
Mikko Eskelisen kotisivut on suunnitellut ja toteuttanut MediaGuru Jack Bacon - Digitaalisen median tuotantostudio - www.mediaguru.fi