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Season 2018: Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia & Finnish Rallyes

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Time of event
Event name and location
Result
Report
26.-28.01.2018
Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi
12th
13.-15.04.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Sepang, Malaysia
3rd & 2nd
11.-13.05.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Buriram, Thailand
1st & ret.
29.-30.06.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Suzuka, Japan
2nd & 1st
20.-22.07.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Fuji, Japan
1st & 2nd
29.-31.07.2018
Vetomies Rally, Jyväskylä (Finland)
Retirement
21.-23.09.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Shanghai, China
1st & 3rd
15.-16.11.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Vallelunga, Italy
1st & 3rd
17.-18.11.2018
Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals Rome, Italy
3rd & 6th

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 final results: 12/12 rounds, PRO-AM-group: Top-4:
1. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), 146 points
2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), 144 points
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 122 points
4. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS), 96 points
5. Max Wiser (ITA), 66 points

Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals, Vallelunga 2018, final results 2/2 rounds, PRO-AM, Top-5
1. JC Perez (USA) & Loris Spinelli (ITA), 25 points
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA) & Emanuele Zonzini (RSM), 24 points
3. Simon Larsson (SWE) & Dennis Lind (DNK), 16 points
4. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 14 points
5. Shota Abkazava (GEO) & Sergej Afanisiev (RUS), 11 points


Season 2018 videos:
Skoda Fabia R5 winter tests
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - Shakedown 360cam
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - SS1 Aittajärvi
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - SS2 Mäntyvaara #1
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - SS9 Mäntyvaara #3
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - SS10 Heinunkierto
Arctic Lapland Rally 2018 - SS11 Ristilampi
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Malaysia MikkoCAM
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Malaysia C More TV-broadcast
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Thailand C More TV-broadcast
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Suzuka C More TV-broadcast
Vetomies Rally 2018 - Incar SS1 - Harju
Vetomies Rally 2018 - Incar SS2 - Päijälä #1
Vetomies Rally 2018 - Incar SS3: Pihlajakoski #1
Vetomies Rally 2018 - Incar SS4: Kakaristo
Vetomies Rally 2018 - Incar SS5: Päijälä #2
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Fuji C More TV-broadcast
Lamborghini Super Trofeo ASIA 2018 - Shanghai C More TV-broadcast
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Vallelunga C More TV-broadcast
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018 - Vallelunga MikkoCAM
Lamborghini Super Trofeo 2018 World Finals


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

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53th International Arctic Lapland Rally is to be driven in fourth weekend of January at the region of Finnish Arctic Circle. Flying Finns Mikko Eskelinen and co-driver Arto Kapanen enters the rally with brand new Skoda Fabia R5 rally car which has just arrived to Finland from Czech rally car factory.

For past 11 years Eskelinen has driven rally and every year since 2008 he has measured his skills behind 4WD rally car in Arctic Lapland Rally. Now in 53th edition of the highly appreciated event, which includes 11 special stages and 254,65 special stage kilometres, he and co-driver Arto Kapanen challenges top drivers with Dynamo rally team maintenanced Skoda Fabia R5, chassis number 194. Dynamo makes co-operation with Toni Gardemeister TGS Worldwide rally team which is better known as a team of another young and highly talented Flying Finn Kalle Rovanperä.

In his 11 years of motorsport career Eskelinen has won multiple international racing titles and other medals. In season 2017 he won silver medal in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia PRO-AM series and now he enters Arctic adventure as a challenger against top drivers like reigning Finnish Rally Champion Teemu Asunmaa and another Toni Gardemeister TGS Worldwide rally team driver Eerik Pietarinen.

He and co-driver Arto Kapanen are ready to rally

- For past two seasons with my Mitsubishi Lancer WRC I've made co-operation with Dynamo Rally team. Because our co-operation has been very smooth I now have a big honor to compete with a brand new Skoda Fabia R5 which is maintenanced by Dynamo Rally Team. Just three days after the car had entered to Finnish soil I was on a test stage preparing it for Arctic Lapland Rally, Eskelinen tells.

- Car is very good to handle and it has lots of torque in every gear. This year in Arctic Lapland Rally, as well as in Finnish Rally Championship series the battle for podium and medal positions is going to be very intense. This is my 11th entry for Arctic Lapland Rally and therefore my goals are set for top-5. After the test I feel very relaxed and comfortable for the forthcoming event, Eskelinen continues.

Even Eskelinen has also entered to Finnish Rally Championship series, his entry for next rounds is still unknown issue because negotiations for summer racing season is also currently underway.

28.1.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen experienced deep dissapointment from Arctic Lapland Rally - Young rally drivers left all veteran rally drivers into roles of statistics

53th edition of Arctic Lapland Rally was driven in surroundings of Rovaniemi, northern Finland at the final week of January. In season 2018 edition of the rally young rally drivers with Skoda Fabia R5 rally cars celebrated top positions as reigning FRC2-group Finnish Rally Champion Eerik Pietarinen was fastest and reigning FRC3-group silver medalist Emil Lindholm was second. Mikko Eskelinen and co-driver Arto Kapanen suffered a deep dissapointment because their pace was enough only to secure 12th position in FRC1-group.

Gentlemen drivers entered the 11 special stages and 254,65 special stage kilometres as 14th pair. In pre-rally tests the duo got a very good mood with brand new Skoda Fabia R5 which was run by Dynamo Rally Team, However in the event Eskelinen and Kapanen weren't able to catch desired speed; Loose snow and low temperatures caused lack of vicibility and therefore the special stage times weren't the ones they had hoped for.

Also 10th time Finnish Rally Champion Juha Salo and many other fellow drivers tackled with same problems. After colourful events Salo had to satisfy for 9th fastest result in overall classifications, which also was a big dissapointment for him.

– I thought we had a superb preparation for the rally as pre-rally tests went very well. My thoughts were set to match for the speed of top drivers but then after first stage towards next ones the stages were full of loose snow. Then came darkness and, due low temperatures ice patches reduced vicibility and I lost all confidence to push. Then again even if the conditions would have been better I have to admit that I it would have been very difficult to challenge top-3 drivers, because they drove with hellowa risk, Eskelinen tells.

– The only stage where I could even a bit set my pace to top drivers was the traditional Super Special Stage which was driven three times. In forest stages I was too soft and therefore our performance was a big dissapointment even me and Arto had again a thrilling rally week together, which also was our eight time in same car. Also I want to give big regards to my team manager Riku Seppä and his Dynamo Rally team. Once again Riku made possible for us to drive a smooth rally without any technical issues, Eskelinen continues.

Final results 53th Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi 2018: FRC1-group, top-3:
1. Eerik Pietarinen & Juhana Raitanen, Skoda Fabia R5, 2:08:49,3
2. Emil Lindholm & Mikael Korhonen, Skoda Fabia R5, +2:25,4sec
3. Takamoto Katsuta & Marko Salminen, Ford Fiesta R5, +2:36,2sec
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12. Mikko Eskelinen & Arto Kapanen, Skoda Fabia R5, +9:15,8sec


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!

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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)
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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.)



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

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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


1.7.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka collect 27 points of 32 possible from Suzuka - PRO-AM leaders are only two points ahead

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In third racing weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, which was driven in japanise circuit of Suzuka, Finns achieved their best-ever result as they collect two podium positions in both 50 minute events. On Saturday they were second fastest and on Sunday they collect their second victory of the season. Due excellent results, german Leipert Motorsport drivers Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen are in second position in PRO-AM standings and only two points behind series leaders.

In previous rounds, which were driven in Malaysia and in Thailand, Finns accomplished three podium positions in four rounds. One of the podiums was their first-ever victory and due excellent performance, they're in third position in overall classifications, just 12 points behind the leader and seven points behind silver position drivers.

Earlier in June Juuso Puhakka had a superb visit in China as in circuit of Zhuhai he won two races in Pan Delta Super Racing Festival. Therefore to tricky Suzuka circuit Finns entered with very high hopes as their goals were set to reduce the gap and step up in standings.

Big drama in both races

In very hot and humid japanise conditions both Finns drove a superb performance in both events and avoided all drama which fellow competitors encountered. In qualifyings Juuso collect 3rd and Mikko 8th starting positions which was the basis for their success.

In Saturdays event Puhakka made a smooth and very fast stint and delivered the car to Mikko in same position. Then few moments later a fellow competitor hit the barrier and safety car came to circuit. When the race continued, PRO-AM Championship leader ran into trouble as fuel valve came loose and japanise drivers were forced to retire the race due complite engine failure. Eskelinen finished the event in PRO-AM second position, just three seconds slower than malaysian Prabakaran Kumar and his italian team mate Massimiliano Wiser who were running with a better competition strategy.

Silver podium position was very welcomed for Eskelinen and Puhakka. Also that they collect 12 Championship points more than their rivals were an excellent news for Leipert Motorsport team.

Victory in sixth round of the season

On next day Eskelinen started the race on 8th position in overall standings and after 22 intense racing minutes he delivered the car to Puhakka in 4th position of PRO-AM group. Because they made a perfect pitstop, they managed to step up right behind their rivals. Puhakka pushed hard and catched the top drivers when leader of PRO-AM group hit a barrier and safety car came into circuit. After 10 minutes of safety car the race continued and Puhakka passed his fellow rivals with a style and ran into the second victory of the season. In overall classifications Finns were 4th fastest.

- Our performance in this weekend was best so far and this is what we have to do also in next rounds if we want to win the Championship, Eskelinen tells and continues, - Both me and Juuso made good work for the whole weekend and result was even better than we expected so therefore I'm very happy because we've been on Podium in five of six events.

- I'm very impressed about the developement my co-driver Mikko Eskelinen made and also for my steady performance. Ofcourse the huge engine fire and retirement our rivals experienced helpt a lot for us to gain second position in official standings but then again this is motorsport. However this weekend showed that when we're able to drive in our own level, we have all possibilities for the title, Puhakka tells.

German Leipert Motorsport team also collect another victory as team mates, australian Ben Gersekowski and danish Frederik Schandorff collect highest position in 1st race. Then in next race they suffered pitlane drive-thru penalty because of speeding in pitlane and dropped inth 4th position. Next round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia is to be driven in japanise circuit of Fuji at the third weekend of July.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, Suzuka #1, sat 30.6.2018, PRO-AM -group, Top-3:
1. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS) & Massimiliano Wiser (ITA), 20 laps
2. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +3,146sec
3. Akihiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), +3,635sec
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ret. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), engine fire

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, Suzuka #2, su 1.7.2018, PRO-AM -luokka, Top-3:
1. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 22 laps
2. Asahiro Asai (JPN) & Evan Chen (TPE), +0,479sec
3. Kang Ling (CHN) & Iban Bian (CHN), +4,234sec
4. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), +59,234sec


23.7.2018 - Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen drove again nearly maximum result in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia - Win and second position from japanise Fuji rounds

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Fourth racing weekend of international Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship series was driven in very hot and humid conditions at traditional Japanise circuit of Fuji. Season 2018 races number seven and eight went very well for Leipert Motorsport drivers Juuso Puhakka and Mikko Eskelinen as Finnish duo collect one victory and one silver podium position in group of PRO-AM. Altogether they collect 28 of 32 Championship points and are in second position in unofficial standings as there are still four rounds to go.

Earlier in season at Malaysian Sepang, Thailand Buriram and Japanise Suzuka Puhakka and Eskelinen have collected five of six possible podium positions and now they managed to collect two more and were able to match their speed against fellow japanise rivals who compted in their home circuits.

Two 50 minutes events were driven in nearly +40c hot weather. In Saturday they secured victory by seven seconds margin and in Sunday they lost the victory just by 1,1 seconds. In overall classifications they also managed to drive their best-ever result by finishing the event in third position.

In Saturday Finns entered the event from sixth position. Eskelinen had a good start and was able to pass one fellow competitor. After 22 minutes of intense competition Mikko bought the car to Juuso on that same position. Then Puhakka hit the pedal to medal and once again showed his talent and passed fellow PRO-AM as well as PRO-group rivals. Third PRO-AM victory of the season and third position in overall classifications was a superb result for Flying Finns.

- I drove one of the best-ever qualifyings I've ever done during my 11 years motorsport career. Then in start I was awake and was able to pass competitor. However even this is team work, Juuso was again our key to success as he was complitely on his own level in the circuit by passing many top drivers. Victory is always very nice to accomplish, Eskelinen tells.

- When at the end of the race I reached my fellow competitors I decided that I will pass them, no matter what. Then it didn't take a long until the opportunity came up and I used immediately used it. Furthermore as Mikko was able to answer my request of adding speed, the result is what we had hoped for. I'm very proud of our race pace which was pretty much of our maximum performance, Puhakka continued.

Second in sunday

To Sundays event Leipert Motorsport Finns entered from third position which Juuso was able to keep. Then after drivers change Mikko also kept the position until final lap. However worst rival in Championship was able to slip pass and dropped Puhakka and Eskelinen into second highest Championship points. Even second trophy is a very good result, this time it tasted a big lose.

- After Saturdays victory we entered the race to accomplish same kind of result. Everything was in order until final lap came. As this is team work, we now need to think what to do when this similar thing might happen in forthcoming races. However second highest PRO-AM Championship points and fourth position in overall standings was still a very good result, Puhakka tells.

- For the whole weekend Juuso has made awesome work. The reason why we didn't win in Sunday was complitely my fault. I should have pushed a bit hard to defend the position. As I drove a bit too soft, our worst rival passed me. Ofcourse I could have blocked his progress but now we have to remember that we're driving a series where there are still four rounds to go. A crash and zero points would have been even bigger dissapointment than this lost victory. Therefore we have to be very happy for seventh podium position of the season, Eskelinen continued.

Both races were won by reighning Champions, japanise Kei Cozzolino and his fellow malaysian team mate Afiq Yazid. In standings Finns are in second position, just two points behind the leaders and 24 points in front of bronze position drivers.

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia continues in September at chinese circuit of Shanghai.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Fuji #1, Japan, sat 21.7.2018: Overall top-5

1. Kei Cozzolino (JPN) & Afiq Yazid (MAS), 26 laps (Pro 1st)
2. Jack Bartholomew (GBR) & James Pull (GBR), +7,618sec (Pro 2nd)
3. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +10,908sec (Pro-AM 1st)
4. Ben Gersekowski (AUS) & Ricard Muscat (AUS), +16,176sec (Pro 3rd)
5. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +17,028sec (PRO-AM 2nd)

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Fuji #2, Japan, sun 22.7.2018: Overall top-5
1. Kei Cozzolino (JPN) & Afiq Yazid (MAS), 30 laps (Pro 1st)
2. Artur Janoz (POL) & Andrea Amici (ITA), +18,499sec (Pro 2nd)
3. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +46,155sec (PRO-AM 1st)
4. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +47,253sec (Pro-AM 2nd)
5. Ben Gersekowski (AUS) & Ricard Muscat (AUS), +50,065sec (Pro 3rd)


31.7.2018 - Transmission failure ruined Vetomies rally for Mikko Eskelinen - Retirement from third position

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In national Vetomies rally, which was driven alongside WRC Rally Finland, Flying Finn Mikko Eskelinen and his co-driver Henri Arpiainen were unable to reach their goals as Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Step2 drivers were forced to retire in penultimate stage due technical problems. At the moment of retirement the pair was in third position in overall classifications. Therefore Eskelinen wasn't able to collect his third-ever Vetomies rally podium; In season 2012 he was second fastest and in 2017 he was third.

Eskelinen had a superb start for the rallye as he and co-driver Henri Arpiainen made 2,5 seconds fastest special stage time in rally opener super special stage. However on next day at the start of Päijälä special stage transmission started to make a small noise which didn't belong to it. Then in Kakaristo special stage and its' famous Tommi Mäkinen jump transmission started to make even worse noise. Eventually their rally came to an end in the middle of re-run Päijälä stage as sounds from transmission came so loud that it was better to quit rallying to avoid more damage. Retirement was a big dissapointment for the duo who fought for silver podium position.

- First stage was very good for us as we made a superb 2,5 seconds fastest special stage time. However in pre-rally tests I heard some small noise from the transmission but we weren't unable to locate the problem. Then in landing of a big jump at Kakaristo special stage the sound became very loud. However we decided to continue because we were driving for silver podium positions. Sadly then in fifth stage we were forced to retire to avoid bigger damages, Eskelinen tells.

- For the moment of retirement we were in excellent pace. Even we couldn't match our speed for the winner Henrik Pietarinen, we still could challenge season 2017 Vetomies rally winner Mika Rampanen. Furthermore as he also was forced to retite due technical problems we could have collect silver podium position if only we could have finished the event. Despite having a miserable retirement, me and my co-driver Henri Arpiainen had a very humouristic rally days, Eskelinen shared his thoughts and continued, - Big thanks for Henri for making a perfect job and Dynamo Rally team for keeping us going until it was impossible. This time we couldn't do nothing for technical problem.

Thoughts set for Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship PRO-AM win

Next event for Mikko Eskelinen is in third weekend of September at Chinese circuit of Shanghai as 5th weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia gets underway. Eskelinen and his team mate, fellow finn Juuso Puhakka competes in two 50 minute events and aims for podiums in PRO-AM group. The duo is only two points behind leaders as there are still four rounds to go. Therefore the battle for the title is going to be incredible in China as well as in final rounds which are to be driven in Italy at the middle of November.

- Me and Juuso have been able to collect seven of eight podium positions including three PRO-AM victories. This is the strategy we're going to follow also in Shanghai as it'll definitely be one of the most memorable season closure in my 11 years motorsport career. The dissapointment of Vetomies rally has already been forgotten and now my thoughts are set for Lamborghini Super Trofeo. We're definitely racing for the title, Eskelinen tells.

Final results Nelivetomies rally 2018, Jyväskylä, top-3:
1. Henrik Pietarinen & Topi Luhtinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 56:53,0
2. Veli-Matti Saarelainen & Marko Tikkanen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +3:05,7sec
3. Juha Salminen & Mikko Laakso, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +3:23,0sec
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retired. Mikko Eskelinen & Henri Arpilainen, Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Step2, SS5 transmission


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

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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

16.11.2018 - Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship series - also 4th position in World Finals is an excellent result!

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Final two rounds of international Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship series were driven at the middle of November in italian circuit of Vallelunga. In penultimate round of the series Finns Mikko Eskelinen and Juuso Puhakka collect their 5th PRO-AM victory of the season and secured their first-ever title with 3rd position in final round. Eskelinen and Puhakka are now the first Finns who have ever won Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship series in its' 10 years history.

For past racing weekends Mikko and Juuso have made a superb job - and they continued doing so also in Vallelunga finals as they could match their speed against Championship rivals, taiwanize Evan Chen and his japanise team mate Akihiro Asai.

In first round Mikko made a steady and fast stint. After drivers change Puhakka pushed hard and passed their fellow rivals in final laps. Due 5th victory of the season they stept into leading position in PRO-AM group before the final round which was driven just few hours later.

In qualifyings Puhakka had made second fastest lap time and therefore for the final round of the season he started racing in front row. After having a superb job he was able to make a good gap for his worst rivals. However then one driver made a big driving mistake and safety car was called into circuit and gaps were minimized. However for the drivers change Puhakka delivered the car in PRO-AM leading position which Eskelinen was able to defend until final laps of the final event.

Even Eskelinen tried to defend the leading position as best as he ever could, japanise Takeshi Matsumoto and Akihiro Asai passed the Flying Finn after he had a collision with a slower group car. However as Evan Chen and his team mate Akihiro Asai finished the event in second position, third position was enought for Eskelinen and Puhakka to secure their first-ever title. In 12/12 rounds of the season Mikko and Juuso collect 146 points against 144 which Evan and Akihiro collect.

- In past three racing weekends we've steadly been 2-3 Championship points better than Asai and Chen and therefore we knew that we would have a strong weekend aswell. As we did everything exactly the same as in previous winning Shanghai weekend, we fullfilled our goals and took the title, Puhakka tells and continues, - Even it might look easy, it really was complitely otherwise as we gave everything we ever could and the result was as we expected.

- We really earned this title as we made lots and lots of job to collect it. We utilized all our and Leipert Motorsport team experience from the car and the seres and therefore we could improve our results from rounds to next. A big thanks for a great racing experiences for our fellow rivals which also gave everything they could to reach the same result as we did. This day was absolutely my best-ever in my 11 years of racing career, Eskelinen continues.

One podium and 4th position from World Finals


After having a superb finish of Asia Championship series, the Flying Finns entered World Finals without any expectations. However in first race they, complitely by surprise, grabbed their 12th Podium of the season in intense 50 minutes event. However 6th position in second race dropped the duo to 4th position in PRO-AM overall results and therefore they were denied the medal in highly appreciated World Finals. Still the result was best-ever Finns accomplished this year as third Flying Finn Tuomas Tujula was forced to retire the event in collision he encountered in starting procedure.

Season 2018 will be remembered as very historical in Finnish Racing point of view as Eskelinen and Puhakka are now the only drivers who have won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series. Furthermore as they collect one podium in World Finals it can be said that season 2018 was very successful: 12 of 14 possible podiums is a superb result.

- Even we lost medal position in World Finals by just two points we're more than happy for the final weekend of the season; First a victory and then third position which gave us the title we had hoped so much. Then a day later we collect one podium more in World Finals and finished the season in 6th position. I'm very proud of our performance and expecially for Leipert Motorsport and theferore we really had earned this result. Furthermore as we could improve our performance from event to next we really can enjoy a lot of this result, Puhakka tells.

- After securing the title we had no preassure to achive success in World Finals. However we were complitely surprised for the podium position and even we drove our season worst performance in second World Finals event the 4th position in overall standings was more than we could have hoped for. Juuso has made a maximum job throughout the season and as I've been able to improve my performance, the title went to correct address. Ofcourse a medal in World Finals would have been a very nice bonus but still 4th position is a result we can be very proud, Eskelinen continued.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 11/12, November 16th 2018 Vallelunga (Italy), PRO-AM, top-3:
1. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), 32 laps

2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +0,190sec
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 17,523sec

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 12/12, November 16h 2018 Vallelunga (Italy), PRO-AM, top-3:
1. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 29 kierrosta
2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), +10,633sec
3. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), +15,238sec

Final standings Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018: 12/12 events, PRO-AM -group: top-5:
1. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Juuso Puhakka (FIN), 146 points

2. Evan Chen (TPE) & Akihiro Asai (JPN), 144 points
3. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN), 122 points
4. Prabakaran Kumar (MAS), 96 points
5. Max Wiser (ITA), 66 points


Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals, Vallelunga 2018, 1/2 event, PRO-AM, top-5:
1. JC Perez (USA) & Loris Spinelli (ITA), 29 laps
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA) & Emanuele Zonzini (RSM), +12,517sec
3. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +17,790sec
4. Takeshi Kasai (ITA) & August Macbeth (USA), +18,127sec
5. Takeshi Matsumoto (JPN) & Toshiyuki Ochiai (JPN) +18,486sec

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals, Vallelunga 2018, 2/2 event, PRO-AM, top-5:
1. Simon Larsson (SWE) & Dennis Lind (DNK), 29 laps
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA) & Emanuele Zonzini (RSM), +1,256sec
3. JC Perez (USA) & Loris Spinelli (ITA), +14,624sec
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6. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +36,234sec

Final standings Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals, Vallelunga 2018, PRO-AM, top-5
1. JC Perez (USA) & Loris Spinelli (ITA), 25 points
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA) & Emanuele Zonzini (RSM), 24 points
3. Simon Larsson (SWE) & Dennis Lind (DNK), 16 points
4. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), 14 points
5. Shota Abkazava (GEO) & Sergej Afanisiev (RUS), 11 points

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