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  Simo Muhonen - Finnish Junior Rally Championship series
 
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27.8.2018 - Technical problem left Simo Muhonen into 3rd position in penultimate round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series - Still picked up 3rd position in overall standings

Flying Finn Simo Muhonen and his co-driver Jani Laitinen accomplished their season fourth and careers' sixth in-a-row podium position in fourth round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series which was driven in surroundings of Laitila, western Finland. Despite having a technical difficulty with their Citroën C2 R2 rally car, the duo made two fastest special stage time and collect third position in group-3. Eventually as they were given second highest Championship points, they're in third position in Championship standings as there are still one round to be driven.

Muhonen and Laitinen entered the tricky stages without any pre-rally tests because lack of time. In first three stages they suffered multiple engine misfires and therefore couldn't match their speed for group winner Timi Niini and second fastest Anssi Autio. Furthermore as they made service in liason section a bit too late, they got 10 seconds penalty for being late on next time control. Also they collect another 10 seconds penalty from false start on fourth stage.

After third stage the duo entered service park and their team managed to fix the problem. Therefore or the final two stages they made fastest special stage times and rised into third position. Still their seasons' fourth and careers' sixth-in-a-row podium position was a big dissapointment because it would required maximum Championship points to keep up hopes for silver or bronze medal in Finnish Junior Rally Championship series. However as series debutant and group winer Timi Niini hasn't entered in first three rallyes of the series, he wasn't allowed to collect any points and therefore Muhonen and Laitinen collect second highest points.

- It was very to drive on maximum performance when your cars' engine misfires all the time. Furthermore as we tried to fix to problem a bit too late in liason section we got a 10 seconds penalty for being late in next time control. Fortunately in service park our team fixed the problem and we were able to collect third position and second highest Championship points which rised us into third position in unofficial standings, Muhonen tells.

- During my career I've collect a lot of podium positions in racing and in rally. This is the first time when I'm not happy for the position as we knew that with only a victory we keep hopes of medal positions alive. As four of five best results are to be included in the final results, we're at the moment in sixth position and six points away from our goals. Therefore podium position is a dissapointment as we would have needed a victory which would have provided us three points more, Muhonen continues.

Final round of the Finnish Junior Rally Championship is to be driven in fourth Saturday in region of Heinola, Central Finland. Another Flying Finn Juho Koski-Lammi has already secured the title and therefore battle for silver and broze medals is going to be intense as there are six competitors driving for those medals.

- As I'm a realistic person I have to say that to collect a medal position in final round it first would require us a maximum performance; We would have to win our group and win also all the stages. Then it also would require a lot of misfortune for our rivals. However I'm very happy of my performance and therefore I have to thank my sponsors and partners as well as my team for keeping the car going and solving the problems we've encountered during the season.

Final results RSJM Oili Jalonen rally, August 25th 2018, Group-3, Top-4:
1. Timi Niini & Tomi Niini, Opel Corsa, 34:40,0
2. Anssi Autio & Sakari Lappalainen, Ford Fiesta R2, +19,0sec
3. Simo Muhonen & Jani Laitinen, Citroën C2 R2, +1,00,6sec
4. Markus Vyyryläinen & Atte Kivioja, Opel Corsa, +1,51,2sec

Finnish Junior Rally Championship series UNOFFICIAL 2018 standings, 4/5 rounds, top-7:
1. Juho Koski-Lammi, Honda Civic Type R, 78 points
2. Janne Luhtanen, VW Polo, 68 points
3. Simo Muhonen, Citroen C2 R2, 58 points
4. Ilpo Kangastie, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, 57 points
5. Jaakko Tulla, BMW M3, 55 points
6. Ajari Piironen, Renault Clio 1.6 16V, 54 points
7. Anssi Autio, Ford Fiesta R2, 51 points

Previous press releases:
- 04.02.2018 - Simo Muhonen opened season 2018 with podium position in 1st round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series
- Season 2017: Finnish Junior Rally Championship series
- Season 2015: Volkswagen Golf Cup
- Season 2014: Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy Finland
- Season 2013: French Formula F4 Championship series
 
 
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