EDRC - Lehtimäki ends Mäkelä’s dominance on home soil | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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EDRC - Lehtimäki ends Mäkelä’s dominance on home soil

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Timo Lehtimäki has put an end to Anita Mäkelä’s dominance by winning round three of the 2019 FIA European Drag Racing Championship held at the new Kauhava drag strip in Finland, after defeating Norway’s Maja Udtian in the final.

In Top Methanol Sandro Bellio had a bye run in the final to take his second win of the season, while in Pro Modified Peter Kunc was the surprise winner over Andreas Arthursson. But it was Pro Stock that produced the biggest upset when Simon Gustafsson defeated reigning champion Bengt Ljungdahl in the final.

Lehtimäki triumphs in front of home crowd

In Top Fuel there was a major surprise in the first round of eliminations when top qualifier and championship leader Anita Mäkelä was defeated by number eight qualifier and fellow Finn Timo Lehtimäki. It was the first time in four races (including last season) that Mäkelä has lost an elimination round. In his semi-final, Lehtimäki defeated Liam Jones and advanced to the final where he was up against Udtian.

The 21-year-old from Norway did an excellent job, beating Stig Neergaard in the first round and last year’s runner-up Antti Horto in the semi-final. However, Udtian lost traction in the final as Lehtimäki recorded a 4.24s run to clinch the victory. It is the second consecutive year that Lehtimäki has won the Finnish round of the FIA EDRC.

Bellio bye runs to victory

In Top Methanol the number one qualifier and championship leader Jonny Lagg was defeated in the semi-final by Sandro Bellio, who is currently second in the title race. On the other side of the elimination ladder, local hero Johnny Oksa had a bye run in the semi-final but suffered an engine problem that ruled him out of the final, handing the win to Bellio. It was the second win of the season for the driver from Belgium who takes over as championship leader.

Kunc claims maiden win

The first elimination round in Pro Modified was filled with major upsets. Number one qualifier and track record holder David Vegter was beaten by Andreas Arthursson, while Peter Kunc, ninth in qualifying, defeated Michel Tooren.

Arthursson also surprised multiple champion Michael Gullqvist in the quarterfinal to make it into the semi-final, where a bye run granted him a place in the final.

Kunc’s success story continued when the Swede defeated championship leader Jan Ericsson in the quarterfinal and reigning champion Jimmy Ålund in the semi-final. In the final Kunc was too quick for Arthursson and claimed the victory, his first ever in an FIA European Drag Racing Championship event.

Gustafsson triumphs in surprise-filled Pro Stock

The Pro Stock category was also full of revelations. Simon Gustafsson won in the first round over Stefan Ernryd and then surprised with a win over championship leader Jimmy Ålund.

In the final, Gustafsson had to face Bengt Ljungdahl as the reigning champion defeated Michael Malmgren in the semi-final. He surprised again to claim the Kauhava win over Ljungdahl.

The FIA European Drag Racing Championship is now set for a short break, but will resume with Round 4 at the Hockenheimring in Germany from the 16th to 18th August.