December 21st, 2015 by Martti Pietilä
Last Sunday the final round of the Finnish Sim Racing Championship was held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Klaus Kivekäs had a solid lead in the championship, and only needed to finish in 25th position to secure the championship, in case Tommi Hahka, second in points, would win the race.
Just as has been the trend this season, the drivers negotiated the first turns without any major trouble. In fact, there was only a small contact between Aleksi Elomaa and Jari Lohtari in the La Source, which so many times has caused major trouble to drivers in about every series one can imagine. Meanwhile, Kivekäs and Hahka went side-by-side through the famous Eau Rouge, which slowed them down and allowed Joni Takanen, Joni Hagner and Lohtari to attack the leading drivers on the run to Les Combes.
Kivekäs was on the inside and made sure to survive the gaggle of cars and lifted early, and by doing so dropped all the way to fifth place. This was not common for the Finn: so far he had taken the victory in every single race held during the season, with only Hahka being able to challenge him in the opening round at Laguna Seca, and with Lohtari and Riku Alatalo giving Kivekäs a run for his money at Bathurst earlier in the season.
In this race, however, the man in the most desired position was Tommi Hahka, and he was doing exactly what he could to keep his championship hopes alive: Drive away from the rest of the pack and get the most points. Hahka was doing perfect laps one after another and steadily increasing his lead from Takanen, Lohtari and Hagner, who all were battling hard for positions. Kivekäs was following the trio a few seconds behind.
When the pit stop window opened midway through the race, Kivekäs was able to do one more lap compared to his opponents, and leapfrog to third position, past Lohtari and Hagner. Both of them were in for an interesting last half of the race, with positions being exhanged multiple times.
Besides hard sim racing it was about fuel management as well, and unfortunately for Jari Lohtari, it didn’t quite work as planned. By the last corners, Elomaa had closed the gap and made a brilliant move on the inside to claim fifth position from Lohtari. However, exiting the last turn, Lohtari’s RUF ran out of fuel, and he dropped all the way to eighth in the final results.
In this race, Tommi Hahka was completely untouchable from the first laps, and went ahead to claim his first victory in the series. In the ending laps Kivekäs caught Joni Takanen for second place, but there wasn’t that much of a battle, as a safe finish was all the Foracer Coanda Simsport driver needed to secure the championship. So Takanen crossed the line second, the best finishing position for him during the season. But the man in third place, if not the hero of the day, but the hero of the season was Klaus Kivekäs, who secured his Finnish Championship after a dominating season! Joni Hagner was fourth, followed by Elomaa in fifth.
Runner-up in the championship was the winner of the day, Tommi Hahka, who performed so well during the season, and was in fact invited to drive in Team Redline lineup in the last Blancpain Endurance Series race, a proof that good achievements in this national series doesn’t go unnoticed on the international level. After less than a year of sim racing, Joni Takanen was the man in third position, with familiar names of Jari Lohtari and Aleksi Elomaa, fourth and fifth respectively.
Next year Finnish Sim Racing Championship will return with a new car and, we hope, will attract even more drivers and fans than this year.
Meanwhile, Trellet.net is arranging different national series, ranging from road to oval.
Screen shots courtesy of Aleksi Elomaa.