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  Simo Muhonen - Finnish Junior Rally Championship series
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Highslide JS
4.2.2018 - Simo Muhonen opened season 2018 with podium position in 1st round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series

Flying Finn Simo Muhonen, age of 21, started second season of his rally career with exactly same kind of result as he did a year ago. Simo with his co-driver Jani Laitinen were 3rd fastest in their group at opening round of Finnish Junior Rally Championship series which was driven in region of Kangasniemi, central-Finland. Muhonen and Laitinen drove six special stages as eight fastest team in overall classifications amd they lost group victory just by 16,9 seconds.

In two previous years Muhonen has driven five rallyes and been three times on 3rd podium position. In season 2017 he managed to collect two podium positions and now he continued on same kind of results. In Rally of Kangasniemi they lost the victory before they had driven even a one metre.

– At the start line of the first stage I set my rally car to wrong position and when the lights went green we got stuck in ruds. After about 20 seconds of wheelspin we got underway and after that I was able to drive on my own level. Steady performance before final stage we had risen into 2nd position but then on the stage my fellow competitor Roni Kauppi was able to push a bit better than us and dropped us into third position. Start line mistake was a very stupid thing from me as lost the victory in that moment, Muhonen tells.

– However the most positive thing was that I was able to reset the situation after first stage. Then I set one fastest and four second fastest special stage times and even I lost the silver podium position just by 3,9 seconds I'm very happy for my performance. Big thanks for this result goes to my co-driver Jani Laitinen who made again perfect job as well so did my background team who kept my car competitive during the rally. It really was a very enjoyable competition between high snow banks, Muhonen continues.

As there drivers collect Championship points according their group, Muhonen is in 12th position after first round, just 8 points behind leader Jaakko Tulla.

Final results RJSM XVIII Kangasniemi Rally, February 3rd 2018, Group 3, top-5:
1. Kim Forsgren & Juha Laaksonen, Toyota Starlet, 40:21,8
2. Roni Kauppi & Markus Partanen, Citroën C2 R2, +13,0sec
3. Simo Muhonen & Jani Laitinen, Citroën C2 R2, +16,9sec
4. Ville Lohkoi & Jari Stark, Toyota Starlet, +50,3sec
5. Riku Koski & Kari Bergbacka, Toyota Corolla 1600 GT, +53,2sec

Finnish Junior Rally Championship series 2018 standings, 1/5 rounds, top-3:
1. Jaakko Tulla, BMW M3, 21 points
2. Ajari Piironen, Renault Clio 1.6 16V, 20 points
3. Kim Forsgren, Toyota Starlet, 20 points
12. Simo Muhonen, Citroen C2 R2, 13 points
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