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Season 2021: Selected Finnish Rallyes with World Rally Car

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