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  Season 2017: Finnish Junior Rally Championship series
 
Date
Event name and location
Results
Report
28.1.2017 4th Revontuli rally, Hankasalmi 6th Report
11.2.2017 Kemi Rally, Kemi 3rd Report
23.9.2017 Riihivuori-Rally, Muurame 3rd Report

Finnish Junior Rally standings 2017, 5/5 rounds, top-3:
1. Aleksi Korhonen, Opel Corsa B, 73 points
2. Tommi Mäkinen, Nissan Almera, 67 points
3. Henri Hokkala, Honda Civic Type-R, 64 points
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19. Simo Muhonen, Citroen C2 R2, 28 points

1.2.2017 - Simo Muhonen collect his first-ever Finnish Junior Rally Championship points from Revontuli Rally

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In final saturday of January 2017 young rally drivers measured their speed in 4th Revontuli rally which was driven in surroundings of Hankasalmi, central Finland. In five fast-paced and intense 60,3 special stage kilometres Flying Finn Simo Muhonen was able to collect first five Finnish Junior Rally Championship points with his co-driver Jani Laitinen.

Since age of five Muhonen has been successfully competing in finnish karting, French Formula F4, Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy Finland and international Volkswagen Cup. Now after 10 months of pause from motorsport he entered his second-ever rally with FWD Citroën C2 R2 rally car. However due military service he had only one day available for prepare himself for the rally. Muhonen and his team spent the day on ice circuit located near his home Jyväskylä, which is also called the spiritual home of rallying. Therefore sixth position in his second-ever rally is a superb result which gives lots of boost for next rounds.

- Definitely I was very very exited before the event because I had done only small test on ice circuit before entering the event. In first two stages I seeked the grip and when I the exitement went by I was able to relax and start pushing. First five Finnish Junior Rally Championship points were the result we had expected from the event, Muhonen tells.

- In season 2017 I'm aiming to drive all five Finnish Junior Rally Championship events and introduce myself to our national sport. This first round showed me that I can drive top speed and challenge my fellow rivals. Therefore on next round I'll be rising my speed and aim for podium positions, Muhonen continues.

Finnish Junior Rally Championship rounds includes events in Hankasalmi, Kemi, Raisio, Kaavi and Muurame.

Final results 4th Revontuli rally, Hankasalmi 27.1.2017, Group 3: FIA R2
1. Korhonen Aleksi & Veli-Pekka Karttunen, Opel Corsa B, 37:03,1
2. Harri Rutanen & Mikko Laitinen, Toyota Starlet, +3,1sec
3. Toni Tuominen & Jari Kavander, Citroën C2 R2, +14,6sec
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6. Simo Muhonen & Jani Laitinen, Citroën C2 R2, +1:28,6sec

Finnish Junior Rally Championship standings 2017: 1/5 rounds, Top-3:
1. Henri Hokkala, Honda Civic Type-R, 21 points
2. Tuomo Vanhala, Ford Fiesta 1.6, 19 points
3. Aleksi Korhonen, Opel Corsa B, 19 points
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23. Simo Muhonen, Citroën C2 R2, 5 points
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23. Simo Muhonen, Citroën C2 R2, 5 pistettä



11.2.2017 - Simo Muhonen collected third highest points from second round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship - 4th fastest result in overall standings is an outstanding result in his third-ever rally

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Flying Finn Simo Muhonen, age of 20, successfully follows the footsteps of his father Seppo Muhonen as he and co-driver Jani Laitinen secured third highest Finnish Junior Rally Championship points from second round of the series. Duo drove two of eight fastest FIA R2-group special stage times with their Citroën C2 R2 and secured his first-evern podium position in his third-ever rally.

Muhonen started the event with a bit cautiously but was able to improve his pace in a rally which was driven in very winterish conditions. He was able to drive all eight special stages without any technical difficulties and finished the event just 18,5 seconds slower than winner Aleksi Korhonen and 4,2 seconds slower than silver podium position driver Teemu Kuusinen. Semu-Racing Team drivers were able pick up their pace from stage to another and are now in 15th position in the Championship standings as there are still three gravel rounds to go.

- Two weeks ago in season opener at Hankasalmi I was a way too exited as I wasn't properly able to prepare for the event because of military service. However as the rally progressed I was able to improve my speed which smoothly continued also in this rally. Therefore my first two-ever fastest group times as well as podium position and 4th fastest performance in the whole rally is a superb result and very much more than I had expected, Muhonen tells.

Since age of five Muhonen has been competing in Karting, in French Formula F4, in Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy Finland and in international Volkswagen Golf Cup. Now, due two steady runs, he can relax and finish his military service before starting to prepare for gravel season to go.

- My co-driver Jani Laitinen has a strong experience from rallying and also my team have made superb job with our Citroën C2 R2 rally car. Their very important work has made me possible to utilize the experience I have gained from circuit racing. For example in Kemi the stages were driven twize and therefore on second pass I could drive the stages more like in circuit racing because I remembered the stages. Now as I've found good level of competition with my co-driver I start to develope the speed, Muhonen tells.

Finnish Junior Rally Championship series continues in final weekend of May at the region of Raisio, south-west Finland.

- Due sixth and third highest championshio points we have now an excellent atmosphere in our team. Therefore we go toward next rounds with a very good feeling. I promise to be more prepared for the gravel rounds as the standings is very intense. Our goals for summer season is to keep finishing in podium positions, Muhonen promises.

Final Results Kemi Rally 2017, Group 3:FIA R2, Top-5:
1. Aleksi Korhonen & Veli-Pekka Karttunen, Opel Corsa B, 39:42,2
2. Teemu Kuusinen & Jukka Kivelä Toyota Starlet, +14,3sec
3. Simo Muhonen & Jani Laitinen, Citroën C2 R2, +18,5sec
4. Toni Tuominen & Jari Kavander, Citroën C2 R2, +33,1sec
5. Toomas Palmi & Timo Savilaakso, Toyota Starlet, +1:29,5sec

Finnish Junior Rally Championship 2017 standings, 2/5 rounds
1. Aleksi Korhonen, Opel Corsa B, 39 points
2. Tuomo Vanhala, Ford Fiesta 1.6, 38 points
3. Joonas Lehtola, Opel Astra GSi 16V, 31 points
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10. Simo Muhonen, Citroën C2 R2, 18 points


24.9.2017 - Simo Muhonen celebrated his 21st Birthday on Podium of RJSM Riihivuori Rally - 3rd highest Championship points after having a roll

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Flying Finn Simo Muhonen drove superb podium position in 5th and final round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series which was driven in his home region at surroundings of Muurame, Central Finland. In four special stages and 67 special stage kilometres Muhonen celebrated his 21st Birthday behind the steering wheel of FWD Citroen C2 R2 car. After rolling the car in second stage he and co-driver Jani Laitinen finished the event 3rd fastest pair in their group.

After skipping two Finnish Junior Rally Championship gravel events due mandatory military service youngster entered his careers' first gravel rally and fourth rally ever by having approx. 40kms of test before the event.

The rally was driven in the region of WRC Rally Finland as some of the special stage sections were same which were driven in previous seasons. In first stage they were 4th fastest in their group and next one suffered a speedy roll in tightening right which came just after a fast-paced crest. Fortunately in the roll the car end back to its' wheels and duo were able to continue driving towards chequered flag. In the insident they lost 53 valiable seconds to group leader Teemu Kuusinen.

In service the damages were mainly fixed; Biggest damage was suffered by rear axle which bend during the crash. Therefore for the two final long stages Simo and Jani had to tackle with twisty car. Even it prooved to be very challenging, they managed to secure second fastest special stage time in their group and finished the event in third highest Championship points.

Despite crash Muhonen was very happy for the rally result and that in his first-ever gravel rally he was able to challenge his fellow rally drivers.

- After over six months of pause from racing I entered the fast-paced special stages with cautious minds and risk-free driving. First stage was pretty OK but then on next stage a very tricky right corner caught me by surprise and we rolled. Fortunately we ended back to wheels and was able to continue. However immediately after the accident we noticed that something had broken from the rear because the car handled like a snake, Muhonen tells.

- In service my maintenance crew made an excellent job and fixed the car in better shape. However due bend rear axle the rear of the car didn't stay on the road and therefore we had lots of big and small moments on two final stages. Still the most positive thing happened in final 30kms stage where me and my co-driver Jani Laitinen lost only 5,7 seconds for the fastest special stage time. It gave lots of boost for my self-confidence, even the race wasn't in perfect competition order, Muhonen continues.

In season 2017 Muhonen drove two winterish and one summer rally. Due one sixth and three third positions he ended up to 18th position in overall classifications of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series.

Final results RSJM Riihivuori Rally 2017: Group 3
1. Aleksi Korhonen & Veli-Pekka Karttunen, Opel Corsa B, 40:08,9
2. Kim Forsgren & Henri Altomaa, Toyota Starlet, +30,4sec
3. Simo Muhonen & Jani Laitinen, Citroën C2 R2, +1:25,2sec
4. Juuso Vormisto & Janne Hötti, Toyota Starlet, +1:46,9sec

Finnish Junior Rally UNOFFICIAL standings 2017, 5/5 rounds, top-3:
1. Aleksi Korhonen, Opel Corsa B, 73 points
2. Tommi Mäkinen, Nissan Almera, 67 points
3. Henri Hokkala, Honda Civic Type-R, 64 points
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19. Simo Muhonen, Citroen C2 R2, 28 points

Click and view onboard videos:
- Riihivuori RJSM Rally 2017 - Incar SS2
- Riihivuori RJSM Rally 2017 - Incar SS3
- Riihivuori RJSM Rally 2017 - Incar SS4

 
 
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