Calandra Racing Concepts
defends the title at the
2013 1:12th European Championships in
Simo Ahoniemi defends his title.
Finnish CRC driver Simo Ahoniemi shown here on the top step of the podium after T.Q.ing and winning the 2013 European 1:12th Modified Championships. Simo was defending Champion of the event as well.
CRC Wins at the 2013 EFRA 1/12 Euro’s in Finland!
Last weekend saw the EFRA 1/12 scale European Championships take place in Oulu, Finland. The event was organised by long-time 1/12th scale stalwart Vesa Yli and run by members of his local club at the Finnish federation. The Fins are no strangers to putting on top notch events, with last years 1/10th electric off road worlds in Vaasa being their most recent triumph.
The track in Oulu was relatively small by European standards, and the layout was extremely technical and demanding, even for the top drivers. Everyone struggled to run clean for 8 minutes with most making at least a couple of small errors during their runs.
Things were made even more difficult by a slimy track surface similar to that experienced at the World Championships in Holland last year. A combination of extremely close weave carpet and oily additives left a slippery residue on the racing line. The result was a lack of bite and tracon, meaning that drivers took to running very soft rear tyre compounds to generate enough grip and traction.
In the ultra fast, ultra competitive modified division, CRC factory driver and multiple European Champion Simo Ahoniemi started the event quite slowly. While he was mixing it in the top 5, in the early stages he didn’t show the kind of dominance he has in the past in this class. However, as qualifying progressed Simo upped his game and developed the setup on his CRC Xti Altered Ego chass, eventually setting the fastest time in the final 2 round by round qualifiers to line up on pole position for the A-main ahead of Associated’s Juho Levanen and Xray of Alex Hagberg.
Simo’s team mate and top UK driver Mark Stiles also struggled somewhat in the early stages, but a change of rear tyre compound mid-way through qualifying saw him improve his times and position in the order. A fine drive to 3rd in the final qualifier lifted him to 5th overall and a well earned start from the front of the 3rd row.
The modified A-main contained 4 CRC cars, with Finlands Teemu Saarinen and Norway’s Helge Johannessen qualifying 8th and 10th respectively.
In the first of the 3-leg A-main, Simo got off to a good start and led the opening 2 laps. However, a slight error when entering one of the slow hairpins left him requiring a marshal and Juho and Alex slipped past. Later in the race a mistake from Juho on the exact same corner allowed Hagberg past to eventually win the leg.
Leg 2 saw a similar story in the opening laps with the lead trio running in a train around the track. Simo started to ease away at the front while Juho and Alex battled for 2nd place in the early stages. Overtaking proved to be notoriously difficult unless the driver in front made a mistake. Later in the race, Juho had managed to tow Hagberg up to the back of Simo and the lead three were separated by less than half a second. With 1 minute remaining the three were still doing battle. Simo missed an apex by less than 12 inches, and Juho pounced, squeezing through into the lead. Hagberg attempted to follow but made contact with Simo. A side by side racing incident, but Simo was left in the boards. Juho eased away at the front and it seemed as if it was all over for Simo who was languishing in 3rd again. However, a mistake from Hagberg on the very last lap gifted Simo 2nd place and kept his title hopes alive.
Simo would need to win the final leg in a faster time than Juho and Alex had set in order to be champion. He did not disappoint; a faultless, clean drive gave Simo another European title to add to his collection! Congratulations Simo from everyone at CRC!
Simo used the full race package, CRC car, CRC tires and the CRC 6300/50C pack.
Mark Stiles produced 3 solid drives to 5th place in each final leg and took 5th overall; his best ever result in modified at the Euros. Teemu and Helge had tough final runs and finished in 9th and 10th.
Modified Class A-Main Results
Simo Ahoniemi (tq) – CRC
Mark Stiles – CRC
Teemu Saarinen – CRC
Helge Johannessen – CRC
10.5 stock saw a slightly lower entry than the open modified class. The CRC team was headed up by the UK’s Mark Stiles, who chose to race in both classes at this event.
Recent BRCA modified winner, Mark Stiles, took his CRC Xti to a podium result in Oulu. In Mark’s first season with CRC, good results are coming strong and steady.
Similarly to modified, Mark struggled to get to grips with the track and setup in the early stages, but found some pace in the latter qualifiers. By the end of qualifying he had the 2nd fastest car on pace, but would line up 4th for the A-main after losing out on tie break to Finnish drivers Vesa Yli and Miika Laurila in the round by round qualifying format. Another Finnish driver Jari Taskila also made the A final for CRC and lined up in 6th place, while Simon Rubet also qualified in the top-10 using a CRC based chassis.
In the A-mains, Germany’s Markus Mobers remained relatively unchallenged to take the overall win. The fight for 2nd was really close in all 3 legs. Mark Stiles had a fast car but just couldn’t make way through the pack and had to settle for 3rd overall behind Vesa Yli, who struggled for pace in the finals. In leg 3, Mark set a fastest lap of 12.0 seconds, almost 2 tenths faster than anyone else in the race including overall winner Mobers! He was left wondering what might have been had he managed to qualify higher. Jari Taskila finished 4th overall after some solid drives in the mains.
Stock A-Main Results
Markus Mobers (tq)
Mark Stiles – CRC
Jari Taskila – CRC
Jorg Mikael Tiit
Simon Rubet – Black Art/CRC
Overall a superb showing from the CRC team; more cars in the modified A-main than any other manufacturer. TQ and the overall win in modified, with the addition of a podium finish and fastest lap in the stock class. CRC cars, tires and batteries proved to be choice agaiantastic!
Full results from the meeting can be found here;
Video reports available here;