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RalliSM – Asunmaa Triumphs at Pohjanmaa Ralli

Second victory in the season for Teemu Asunmaa

Teemu Asunmaa and Ville Mannisenmäki dominated the Pohjanmaa Ralli, marking their second victory of the season in RalliSM. Driving the Pirelli-shod Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 for RTE-Motorsport, the duo won five of the seven special stages, maintaining their lead from start to finish in the event organized in Seinäjoki. This triumph strengthens Asunmaa’s championship ambitions and confirms his participation in the Rally of Estonia, valid for the FIA ERC, and the Rally of Finland, entered in WRC2.

“We ran the entire race at a great pace in terms of both time and speed. We decided to approach the last two stages more cautiously to avoid punctures or other issues. Next, we’ll compete in the Estonian European Championship rally and then the Finnish WRC rally,” Asunmaa stated.

Roope Korhonen, the current leader of the SM series, secured second place driving a Toyota Yaris GR Rally2 for Rautio Motorsport. Despite a defensive race, Korhonen managed to win the last two stages. “Beating Teemu on his home turf was very difficult, but the result is still positive. Now we have to aim for success in the remaining rounds of the season,” Korhonen said.

Benjamin Korhola, driving a Hyundai i20 Rally2 for Pacco Motorsport, took third place, finishing 16 seconds behind Asunmaa. “I’m quite satisfied with the performance in terms of speed. We kept up with Roope for most of the rally. Trying to match Teemu’s pace would have been too risky,” Korhola commented.

Anssi Rytkönen, in a Skoda Fabia R5, finished fourth overall, while Swedish driver Jari Liiten, in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, came fifth, just four seconds behind Rytkönen. Tommi Jylhä, in a Skoda Fabia R5, finished sixth, followed by Jooa Iivari, also in a Skoda Fabia R5.

Henri Hokkala, driving a Ford Fiesta Rally3, won the SM2 class for the fifth consecutive time, finishing eighth overall. Aartu Lähdenieni, in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, won the SM5 class, while Australian Taylor Gill, in a Ford Fiesta Rally3, placed tenth.

In the SM3 class, reserved for 2WD cars, 17-year-old Tuurka Kaippinen triumphed in a Ford Fiesta Rally4, followed by fellow 17-year-old Estonian Jaspar Vaher and Joni Korhonen. Valentino Ledda and Claudio Mele, in a Renault Clio Rally4 prepared by TGS Worldwide, finished fourth, achieving their best career result in RalliSM. Unfortunately, the other Italian crew of Giovanni Trentin and Danilo Fappani retired.

Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota’s team principal, was sixth in the overall competition with his historic class Toyota Celica before the final loop. However, his race ended prematurely due to an electrical failure after the daily maintenance.