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18.1.2021 - Mikko Eskelinen and Arto Kapanen dived into snowbank in Arctic Lapland Rally - Thrilling rally ended due crash damages

56th edition of Arctic Lapland Rally was fourteenth time in-a-row for Mikko Eskelinen as he competed in traditional Finnish rally season opener. It was also 24th time for co-driver Arto Kapanen as they headed to seven special stages and 200 special stage kilometres with hopes of improving their times they had set in previous editions of the highly appreciated rally.

Their goals were fullfilled until half way of the third stage called Vanttauskoski. In high-speed right hand corner Eskelinen made braking too late and therefore Mitsubishi Lancer WRC crashed out from the stage. As specators weren't allowed to the stages due Covid-19, it took seven minutes for media and rescue people to help Eskelinen and Kapanen back to the stage. Even they eventually could continue driving towards service area, they decided to retire the event due damages they suffered in heavy off.

- In second stage the gear sensor broke up and therefore the gear display gave us wrong information about the driving gear we used. However it wasn't the reason for the off we encountered in next stage as it was a corner which came almost immediately after a crest. I remembered it very clearly from the recce and previous years. However, for some reason, I broke 50 metres too late and therefore we experienced a heavy off. Fortunately there wasn't any big trees or rocks on our way, told Eskelinen about the moment of horror.

- Car stopped just before a ditch and was stuck on its' belly on snow. It took seven minutes to get back to the stage. Then after night pause we retired the event because the car didn't work anymore in same way and it was time for Sauna and After Rally party, reighning Lamborghini Super Trofeo European Championship series silver medalist continues.

Winner of the 56th Arctic Lapland Rally was Teemu Asunmaa who won the event by 22 seconds gap for another multiple Finnish Rally Champion Juha Salo. A video of Mikko Eskelinen crashing out from the rally can be seen on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gtmikko.

Final results 56th Arctic Lapland Rally 2021: FRC1-group, Top-6:
1. Teemu Asunmaa & Marko Salminen, Skoda Fabia R5 EVO, 1:45:56,6
2. Juha Salo & Mikko Markkula, Skoda Fabia R5 EVO, +22,0s
3. Emil Lindholm & Mikael Korhonen, Skoda Fabia R5 EVO, +34,0s
4. Juuso Metsälä & Matti Kangas, Skoda Fabia R5, +3:49,0s
5. Riku Tahko & Markus Soininen, Hyundai i20 R5, +5:19,1s
6. Niclas Grönholm & Antti Linnaketo, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, +5:22,1s
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retired. Mikko Eskelinen & Arto Kapanen, Mitsubishi Lancer WRC, crash damages

Click and view images from the event

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11.10.2020 - Finns collect podiums from Lamborghini Super Trofeo Barcelona - Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen entered into medal positions in PRO-AM group

Third racing weekend of Lamborghini Super Trofeo season 2020 was driven in second weekend of October at circuit of Barcelona Catalunya. Flying Finns Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen collect their season best result as they challenged the demanding conditions by finishing the event two times wth podium positions; In first race they were 2nd and in second race 3rd fastest which gave the duo enough Championship points to climb into bronze position in group of PRO-AM standings.

Sky opened just a moment before Saturdays race got underway and rain set slippery conditions for the drivers as they started to compete on 4,65kms tarmac surface. Conditions were so tricky that in warm-up lap two cars slided off-road and therefore for the first 10 minutes competitors drove behind safety car.

Eventually when the race got underway, Eskelinen was able to pass one of his fellow rival and delivered the car to Niskanen in silver position of PRO-AM group. In his driving turn Elias Niskanen made again superb job and defended the position so that Finns celebrated their season 2020 best result on podium.

After Saturdays tyre lottery and very slippery conditions the drivers faced dry conditions on Sundays' race. Even Mikko and Elias did their best, they had no chance to challenge series leading Polish drivers Karol Basz and his team maet Andrew Lewandowski or italian Lorenzo Bomtempelli who competed with brazilian star driver Victor Coelho Franzoni da Silvan. Still third highest Championship points were very welcomed because now Finns are in battle for PRO-AM medal positions.

- It really was not easy to compete with 620bhp RWD car on wet conditions as I had never-ever driven on such tricky weather with GT-car. Even so we managed the situation and collect absolutely maximum amount of points we could have hoped for. I'm very happy for our performance as we have delivered the car to finish in all six rounds we have driven so far. Therefore 3rd position in PRO-AM group is well earned, Elias Niskanen tells.

- Exactly a year ago my team mate Elias Niskanen had his first-ever test with 620bhp Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO here in Barcelona. In that test I saw the talent and knew that he will be very competitive. Now I'm very proud of him as he did maximum job on wet surface in his first-ever wet condition GT-race. I know it's not easy at all to jump into wet conditions with zero kilometres of experience on competition with wet conditions. Therefore 24 points of 30 possible is more than we had expected and therefore we already look forward for the next Belgium round.

In first race another Finn Patrick Kujala and his british team mate Dean Stoneman finished first. However they suffered three seconds penalty because causing a collision during the race and therefore they were dropped into third position. Race was won by french Dorian Boccolacci and his italian team mate Kevin Gilardoni.

In second race Kujala and Stoneman were 4th fastest as Boccolacci and Gilardoni were fastest in second race.

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Barcelona 2020 Race #1: Saturday 10th October: PRO-AM group, Top-3:
1. Lorenzo Bontempelli & Victor Coelho Franzioni da Silva (BRA), 22 laps
2. Elias Niskanen (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +7,421s
3. Karol Basz (POL) & Andrew Lewandowski (POL), +59,244s

Final results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Barcelona 2020 Race #2: Sunday 11st October: PRO-AM group, Top-3:
1. Karol Basz (POL) & Andrew Lewandowski (POL), 27 laps
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli & Victor Coelho Franzioni da Silva (BRA), +7,467s
3. Elias Niskanen (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +54,952s

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe 2020 standings 6/10 rounds, PRO-AM -group
1. Karol Basz (POL) & Andrew Lewandowski (POL), 88p
2. Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA), 64p
3. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Elias Niskanen (FIN), 58p
4. Loris Spinelli (ITA) & G van der Horst (NDL), 49p
5. Damiano Fioravanti (ITA), 37p
6. Victor Coelho Franzoni da Silva (BRZ), 27p
7. Vincent Schwatz (DEU) & Franz Konrad (DEU), 22p
8. Bronislav Formanek (CHE) & Jakub Knoll (CHE), 17p



6.9.2020 - Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen two times on Podium at Nurburgring - Finns entered into battle of medals in Lamborghini Super Trofeo European Championship series

In first weekend of September 2020 the second weekend of International Lamborghini Super Trofeo racing series was driven in traditional German circuit of Nurburgring. In two 50 minute events Finns Mikko Eskelinen and Elias Niskanen made superb job and collect two podiums in very intense and tricky races.

In first event Finns were 2,921 seconds faster than 4th fastest fellow competitors and in second event they celebrated the podium with very narrow 0,475 gap to their best rivals for the bronze medal positions. Unyielding performances brought first-ever GT-podium positions for Elias Niskanen, while for Mikko Eskelinen, who is driving for the sixth year in a row and has achieved several international motorsport championships in his career, the podiums were numbers 41 and 42.

In both events, the Finnish duo avoided all problems and achieved their goals with a successful competition strategy. A month ago in the previous round, which was driven in italian circuit of Misano, Niskanen and Eskelinen were twice fourth fastest as now they improved their positions with one position. Although neither Elias, Mikko nor any other competitor could do anything for the two fastest car classes in the PRO-AM class, the Finns celebrated the podium like winners of the races.

- Our goal was to minimize the mistakes we made in Misano and otherwise to avoid problems and drama. As we were able to keep the third positions during the whole race until chequered flag, it can be said that we did our best performance of our careers in both races. I was able to keep my position and as Mikko made one of the smoothest and fastest performance of his long career we could two times beat our rival italian team drivers. I'm very happy for my as well as my team mate performance and Leipert Motorsport support which delivered me my first-ever podium positions in GT-cars. It really taste like victories, Elias Niskanen tells.

- Once again Elias showed why he's a Lamborghini Squadra Corse Junior Program driver as he did perfectly the job we had expected from him. He had a great start for the first corner and otherwise he, again, did not make a single mistake during the weekend. I'm very happy also for my own performance and therefore this weekend gave us the self-confidence we really needed as we're now just one point behind our worst rivals in bronze medal battle, Mikko Eskelinen continues.

Overall winners in first race of Nürburgring were british Dean Stoneman and his italian team mate Kikko Galbiati. In second race winners were danish Kevin Rosselin and his italian team mate Alberto di Folco. In PRO-AM group polish Karol Basz and his fellow countryman Andrej Lewandowski leads the series after four races. Italian Loris Spinelli and dutch team mate Gerard van der Horst is in second position. Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen are just one point behind third position which is currently held by italian Damiano Fioravanti and Lorenzo Bontempelli.

Next two rounds are to be driven in second weekend of October at the spanish circuit of Barcelona.

Final Results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Nürburgring, 1st race:
1. Dean Stoneman (GBR) & Kikko Galbiati (ITA), 21 laps
2. Raul Guzman (MEX) & Milos Pavlovic (SRB), +4,014sec
3. Kevin Rossel (DEN) & Alberto di Folco (ITA), +11,934sec
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10. Elias Niskanen (FIN) & Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +22,623sec (PRO-AM 3.)

Final Results Lamborghini Super Trofeo Nürburgring, 2nd race:
1. Kevin Rossel (DEN) & Alberto di Folco (ITA), 25 laps
2. Dorian Boccolacci (ITA) & Kevin Gilardoni (ITA), +4,779sec
3. Raul Guzman (MEX) & Milos Pavlovic (SRB), +5,195sec
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9. Elias Niskanen (FIN)& Mikko Eskelinen (FIN), +58,038sec (PRO-AM 3.)

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe UNOFFICIAL standings 4/10 rounds: PRO-AM -group
1. Karol Basz (POL) & Andrej Lewandowski (POL), 62 points
2. Loris Spinelli (ITA) & Gerard van der Horst (NDL), 49 points
3. Damiano Fioravanti (ITA) & Lorenzo Bontempelli (ITA), 37 points
4. Mikko Eskelinen (FIN) & Elias Niskanen (FIN), 36 points
5. Vincent Schwatz (DEU) & Franz Konrad (DEU), 22 points
6. Bronislav Formanek (CHE) & Jakub Knoll (CHE), 17 points

My previous press releases:
- 09.08.2020 - Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen two times 4th fastest in Misano
- 18.02.2020 - Luka Nurmi and GTM Motorsport deepens their co-operation - In season 2021 Luka Nurmi to enter internaltional arenas?
- 20.01.2020 - Mikko Eskelinen and co-driver Arto Kapanen fullfilled their goals in Arctic Lapland Rally despite brake problems
- Season 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe press releases
- Season 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia press releases
- Season 2017 Lamborghini 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