GRØNDAL AND ASUMMA BEGUN THE SEASON WITH PODIUMS
The start of the Rally Season means snow season, and we are already receiving new from the ENDLESS drivers. This time we got great news from Anders Grøndal, who raced the Rally Hadelands (Norway), and from Teemu Asunmaa who competed for the Finish Championship.
Anders Grøndal RallyTeam hadn´t programmed to race the Rally Hadeland this year, but after another upswing in the first Norwegian Championship round, Sigdal´s rally, the temptation was too great for Anders. As the race was not planned, our regular map reader Veronica Engan did not have the opportunity to participate either, so Ola Fløene, who is one of Norway’s best and most experienced map readers, took her place in this occasion.
Rally Hadeland started well, and much better than in Sigdal, and after two tests the guys were only 2 seconds behind leader Larsen, and about the same in front of Solberg. Unfortunately, Anders and Ola lost some time on the 3rd leg. But throughout the rest of the race, Anders and Ola´s times beat Solberg´s, who had picked up speed. Anders was also faster than Larsen on all the last tests.
What ruined it a little for Anders and Ola was they chose 9 mm protrusions on the spikes at the end. The right choice would have been 8 mm as Solberg and Larsen previously had. The roads were driven up and then the long spikes lay down. Therefore, they had no opportunity to fight for the victory. But just to congratulate Henning Solberg.
Efter two rounds in the Norwegian Championship the Anders Grøndal RallyTeam is placed is second position, only two point behind the leader.
Teemu Asunmaa and co-driver Ville Mannisenmäki have finished second in the traditional Arctic Lapland Rally. Asunmaa, who had been leading the rally for a lengthy period, ultimately had to settle for second by 7,3 seconds. Taking home the most championship points among the Finnish Rally Championship (FRC) regulars, as well as winning six of the 12 stages, the Skoda Motorsport Finland’s driver started the season strongly overall.
The strategy for the opening day was to conserve tires for an assault on Saturday. Even with completing the whole day with only one set of tires, Asunmaa was leading the rally by 5,2 seconds by the end of the first day.
On Saturday, Asunmaa opened with a second-fastest time, improving upon this with two stage-winning times to complete the first set of stages. The lead stayed largely the same, with Asunmaa 5,0 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
On the second leg of the day the driving didn’t go according to plans, and Asunmaa dropped down to second. The Skoda-driver quickly bounced back by winning further two stages and come closer to the leader. Loose snow on stage hampered Asunmaa as the first Rally2 car on the road, and the Pirelli-driver was forced to settle for second place by 7,3 seconds.
Next round of the FRC, SM Tuuri Ralli, is driven at Asunmaa’s home village, and they are willing to win again, as they did last year.
From ENDLESS Brake Technology, we will follow these two great drivers along the wholw seasong, surely reporting great results, but they are not the only ones. We expect good news from all the ENDLESS drivers this year. It is just the beginning.