Finnish driver Sami-Matti Trogen
(#22) claimed his second RX Academy victory in a row at the Kouvola Rallycross Festival in Finland to extend his points lead (August 26).
Trogen became the first ever two-time winner in RX Academy history by finishing second in the Intermediate Classification, winning semi-final two then taking the lead of the final at the first corner to win at the former FIA World Rallycross Championship venue.
Trogen had to fight back from a close fight with Russian driver Marat Knyazev
(#96) in Q1 to claim victory. He set the fastest time in Q3, but it was Polish driver Oskar Leitgeber
(#3) who was fastest in Q2 and qualified top in the Intermediate Classification. The round two winner then won semi-final one before finishing second to Trogen in the final after applying pressure to the Finn during the six-lap race. He remains second in the standings, just six points behind Trogen with one round remaining.
Making his rallycross debut in the RX Academy’s factory-built Renault Clio RS RX race cars, kart racer Juho Valtanen
(#8) progressively built his speed throughout the event, overtook Swede Isak Reiersen
(#70) for second position in semi-final two and climbed into third on the opening lap of the final, a position he would hold to the finish after the joker lap strategies played out.
Reiersen meanwhile continued his strong pace and was in the fight for a podium finish. He finished sixth overall behind Estonian Marko Muru
(#27) and Knyazev. Muru made it up to fourth in the final from the back of the grid. He passed Kynazev in the very last corner of the weekend and has also climbed to joint third in the standings as a result.
Knyazev was third quickest in Q2 and finished the fourth round of RX Academy fifth. New Zealand driver Sloan Cox
(#21) got his event of to a perfect start by winning his race in Q1 and setting the first fastest overall time of his RX Academy career. Competitive through the event, Cox initially finished third in semi-final two, but was given a black flag for an overtaking move on Muru and wasn’t able to start the final.
also just missed out on a place in the final. Racing at a circuit he has visited previously in crosskart, Kalliomäki set a best time of fourth in Q2 and was also fourth in semi-final two. With just one round of RX Academy 2018 remaining at Tierp in Sweden (October 7) Kalliomaki is tied on points for third with Muru, but holds the position after round four thanks to his round one win.
: Sami-Matti Trogen (FIN)
“I’m really happy to win after a tough first two qualifyings today. I’m very happy with my weekend overall, my pace has been really good at the last race at Jalasjarvi and here in Kouvola, so that’s really good. Of course I’m going to the last race to try to win and take the championship.”
: Oskar Leitgeber (POL)
“I’m happy with second but I lost points in the standings to Sami-Matti which is not so good. The last round in Sweden is going to be very important and the most interesting of the season. This track is very technical but it has been really fun to drive. In general, I’m very happy with another podium, this season has been really good with a lot of achievements already for me. I hope I can fight to win the title in the final round, I’m really looking forward to the race.”
Kouvola Third: Juho Valtanen (FIN)
“This is a really good result for me, I have not been driving this car so much at all so I’m happy with the result. I only drove it for the first time on Thursday, but this track felt good and I enjoyed it a lot. I had good data to look at to learn how to drive the car, which helped me to get a good style. The joker lap concept was new to me, so I just listened to what my spotter said, so it was easy. I enjoyed rallycross a lot, I hope I can do some more in the future.”
Head of RX Academy: Jussi Pinomäki
“We were really part of something amazing this weekend at the Kouvola Rallycross Festival, organised by the Finnish ASN (AKK) and RallyX Nordic. As always, at the end of the race some drivers are happy and some are unhappy but the road continues, the train keeps on going and everyone is learning new things all the time. To have such an event back in Finland with a huge crowd was fantastic and the RX Academy drivers put on a great race. We had good racing, good overtaking and I think we can feel very happy with how the weekend went. We have a bit of a break now before the final race in Tierp and we are all really looking forward to going to a new venue to finish off the season, where we will crown the second ever RX Academy champion.”