Yury Belevskiy in Supercar and Sebastian Enholm in CrossCar took their first wins of the 2023 season during Race 2 in Kouvola, while Simon Olofsson (Supercar Lites), Olli Lathi (Open 2WD) and Joonatan Ylilammi (CrossCar Junior) remained unbeaten throughout the weekend, taking their second consecutive victory in Finland.
Maximum score for Yury Belevskiy
Despite having qualified for five consecutive finals this season, Yury Belevskiy had nevertheless had to make do with a single podium finish achieved at Nysum. This time, however, the sixth race on the calendar proved to be the right one for the Volland Racing driver. Already fast in Race 1, the FIA Euro RX3 2021 European Champion finally managed to put it all together.
Leading the way at the end of the qualifying heats ahead of Jere Kalliokoski and Kevin Eriksson, the Audi S1 driver took advantage of the latter’s retirement in the semi-final to unleash his game in the weekend’s final showdown.
Winner of Race 2 ahead of Peter Hedstrom and Jere Kalliokoski, Belevskiy seized the opportunity to take the maximum 30-unit mark as well as second place in the overall standings, 24 points behind leader Kevin Eriksson. Third in Race 1, Juha Rytkonen failed to finish on the podium this time.
Supercar Pro-Am: Mats Ohman strikes again
If the Kouvola event saw the return of Mats Ohman to racing this weekend, it’s fair to say that the JC Raceteknik driver did not fail to impress his rivals with a second consecutive success ahead of Jonne Ollikainen, while Edjis Oss took the third step of the podium for the second time in a row.
Disqualified in the final, Viktor Vranckx is still in first place in the championship, but his lead over Maiko Tamm is now down to five points.
Supercar Lites: Simon Olofsson was unstoppable in Kouvola
Simon Olofsson was a tough nut to crack last weekend. Second in the championship before Kouvola, the Swede left Finland with two wins and a maximum score of 60 points. Winner of the intermediate classification, Olofsson held off his rivals right to the end to claim his third victory in six races this year.
Second-placed Isak Sjokvist was ahead of Casper Jansson. This third podium finish so far this year enabled Sjokvist to steal fourth place in the overall standings from Casper Jansson.
On the other hand, this second race in Kouvola proved to be very tricky for Lukas Andersson. Knocked out in the semi-finals, the JC Raceteknik driver lost two positions in the overall standings and relinquished his lead to Simon Olofsson. Although Lukas Andersson is now 25 points behind Olofsson, he is currently two points behind Martin Enlund in second place.
Open 2WD: Olli Lathi rules in Kouvola
Winner of Race 1 on Saturday, Olli Lathi was back at it again on Sunday. Winner of the intermediate classification, the Finnish driver took advantage of Viktor Johansson’s early exit from Q3 and Simon Tiger’s retirement at the first corner of the final to claim his second win of the weekend ahead of Tuomas Venalainen and Lucas Gabrielsson.
With two races remaining in the 2023 season, the gap between championship leader Viktor Johansson and his closest rival Simon Tiger is now just four points.
CrossCar: Sebastian Enholm strikes a double blow
Sebastian Enholm hadn’t been able to qualify for a final since the Nysum event, but the Swede was clearly back to his best in Kouvola.
After two consecutive podium finishes in Denmark at the end of April, the multiple Swedish champion had experienced a complicated period with three successive eliminations in the semi-finals. This time, Sebastian Enholm got down to business.
Having come out on top in qualifying ahead of Elias Svensson and Riku Huuhka, Enholm claimed his first success of the 2023 season at the end of a final that saw Jimmie Osterberg retiring early following heavy contact at the exit of the first corner.
With Alexander Heum and Elias Svensson disqualified after the end of the race, Riku Huuhka and Martin Juga took the opportunity to claim their second podium of the season.
Leader of the CrossCar category since the start of the championship, Thomas Eek Murstad’s elimination in the semi-finals cost the Norwegian driver dearly, as he relinquished his position as series leader to Sebastian Enholm.
Junior CrossCar: Ylilammi reverses the trend, nothing goes right for Uitto
After two successive semi-final eliminations on his home turf in Kouvola, teenager Mikael Uitto was unable to hold on to the lead in the Junior CrossCar overall standings and had to cede his front-running seat to Joonatan Ylilammi.
With two victories over the weekend, Ylilammi collected 58 of the 60 points available in Finland.
In Sunday’s Race 2, Joonatan Ylilammi converted his third win of the season by beating Lauri Halonen, while Aleksi Suono scored his first podium of the year.
With two races remaining in the championship, Ylilammi has a lead of 11 and 18 points respectively over Lauri Halonen and Mikael Uitto, while Olliver Sollie snatches fourth place overall from Joni Turpeinen.