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13.5.2018 - Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen collected their first-ever PRO-AM victory and deep dissapointment in 2nd Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series weekend

A month ago in 1st weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series, which was driven in malaysian circuit of Sepang, flying Finns Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen accomplished two PRO-AM podium positions. Now in Chang Circuit of Thailand they collect their first-ever victory and experienced moments of deep dissapointment due crash they encountered in starting procedure.

In qualifyings Eskelinen made two good laps and finished seventh fastest. However the Jury cancelled both if his laps due the reason that Mikko had not respected track limits. Therefore he was foced to start from 14th position for the first race. Puhakka was again in flames as his lap was enough to secure 3rd fastest and PRO-AM Pole Position.

In 3rd race of the season, which was driven in +37c heat and pure sunshine, Eskelinen entered the race from 14th grid. However after first lap he had risen to 9th position and was smoothly on his way towards podium positions. Mikko drove a superb stint and delivered the car to Puhakka when 22/50 minutes was driven. Juuso did again superb job and picked up positions so that the duo finished the event in 5th position in overall classifications and 2nd fastest in PRO-AM -group. However after the race the Jury gave 30 seconds penalty for the winners because of not respecting the track limits and therefore Finns won their first-ever Lamborghini Super Trofeo PRO-AM.

To accomplish 1st victory, It took 30 2nd and 3rd Podium positions for Eskelinen and 2 same kind of podium positions for Puhakka. Victory was also historical, because it was first-ever in 10 years of Lamborghini Super Trofeo series when Finnish driving pair had won the event.

During the intense racing, Puhakka had a very big moment and was able to avoid crash, but just by very narrow gap.

- I was pretty satisfied for my run in qualifying and I came to pits and left the car. Then when there were just 2 minutes to go the Jury decided to cancel my two qualifying laps due not respecting the track linits and we dropped to 14th position. Even it was a big dissapointment I decided not to give up and therefore I haven't done so angry first-lap in the race as I did in the start, Eskelinen tells.

- When Mikko bought the car to me in 4th position at PRO-AM group I decided that I will take the podium position. After few laps my racing engineer told me that my pace is good that I shall reach 3rd position driver. Then a moment later I experienced a very cautious situation as my fellow driver started to spun in front of me and I avoided the crash just by few centimetres. Then on final lap one of my fellow competitor got a pitlane drive thru penalty and I gained 2nd position and celebrated it on Podium. Then few moments later Jury decided to give penalty also for the winner and we picked up the victory and 15 Championship points. It was an unbelievable race, Puhakka continued.

Fastest drivers in Saturdays 50minutes race were Leipert Motorsport other car which was run by aussies Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat. After dissapointing racing weekend in Malaysia, Ben and Richard showed their performance and secured an outstanding result by winning the event with safe 21 seconds gap.

Dissapointing Sunday

German Leipert Motorsport and Flying Finns entered the Sundays race with high hopes as aussie team mate Richard Muscat started from Pole Position and Juuso Puhakka behind him in third position. However in starting procedure he lost many positions due very miserable start. When he entered the first corner, a fellow competitor hit the rear side of his car and caused a spin. Then another driver hit the rear side of Puhakkas' Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo car and it was game over due technical problem. Therefore Eskelinen wasn't able to drive not a single meter and Puhakka just 400 metres. Zero points was a huge dissapointment.

- As both Leipert Motorsport teams had been victorious in first race we had an excellent mood in our team. And as our starting position was 1st of PRO-AM, me and Mikko decided to reach for another victory. However I got a very bad start and my fellow drivers passed me from both sides. Then on first corner braking someone hit me my car and I spun and someone else hit me again. The impact was so severe that it broke the rear side of my car and it was game over us. I'm very sorry what happened, Puhakka tells.

- These things are part of hard racing. When we viewed onboard we noticed that Juuso couldn't do nothing otherwise to avoid the insident. Even the race was prematuraly end for us and we lost many valuable Championship points I have to be very happy that the angle of impact was very narrow and our car didn't suffer major damages. Still I'm also happy for my first-ever PRO-AM victory as we've already forgot the Sunday and started concentrating for the next two races which are to be driven in japanise circuit of Suzuka, Eskelinen continues.

There were also lots of other drama in Sundays race as many drivers experienced troubles. However the race won by italian Andrea Amici and Artur Janoz. Aussies Ben Gersekowski and Richard Muscat were forced to satisfy for second highest Championship points after having a thrilling battle against Amici and Janoz. PRO-AM was won by japanise Takeshi Matsumoto and Toshiyuki Ochiai as they were 3rd fastest in overall classifications. Eskelinen and Puhakka are in 3rd position in unofficial standings after three events. Finns are 12 points behind leaders Matsumoto and 7 points behind second position drivers.

Third racing weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season 2018 is to be driven final weekend of June at the circuit of Suzuka.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018, Buriram, Thaimaa, Saturday May 12th 2018: Overall standings, top-6:
1. Ben Gersekowski (AUS) & Richard Muscat (AUS), 31 laps (PRO 1.)
2. Jack Bartholomew (GBR) & James Pull (GBR), +21,849sec (PRO 2.)
3. Andrea Amici (ITA) & Artur Janoz (GBR), +35,478sec (PRO 3.)
4. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +44.541sec (PRO-AM 1.)
5. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda (IND), +51.454sec (PRO-AM 2.)
6. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), 1:08.899sec (PRO-AM 3.)

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018, Buriram, Thaimaa, Sunday May 13th 2018: Overall standings, top-6:
1. Andrea Amici (ITA) & Artur Janoz (GBR), 27laps (PRO 1.)
2. Ben Gersekowski (AUS) & Richard Muscat (AUS), +1,026sec (PRO 2.)
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +1,672sec (PRO-AM 1.)
4. Jack Bartholomew (GBR) & James Pull (GBR), +4,110sec (PRO 3.)
5. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda (IND), +7,531sec (PRO-AM 2.)
6. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +15,376sec (PRO-AM 3.)
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retired. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), crash

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 Unofficial standings 4/12 rounds, PRO-AM -group, top-5:
1. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 51 points
2. Akihiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), 46 points
3. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 39 points
4. Armaan Ebrahim (IND) & Anindith Konda (IND), 24 points
5. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS) & Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, 16 points
 
Mikko Eskelisen kotisivut on suunnitellut ja toteuttanut MediaGuru Jack Bacon - Digitaalisen median tuotantostudio - www.mediaguru.fi