Set Promotion is ready for the final push in the ERC with Bakkerud and Leppihalme in the title fight and two new Super1600 drivers.
Set Promotion enters the ERC with a super group. The team from Turku in Finland has five cars competing in the championship for the rest of the season, starting from the Belgium event this weekend.
Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud (Renault Twingo Mk2), Finn Jussi-Petteri Leppihalme and Russian Timur Shigaboutdinov (both Renault Clio Mk2) are familiar names challenging for the points. Bakkerud leads the championship while Leppihalme is currently fifth, and they are both fighting for the European title. New faces in the ERC are the two Finns Teemu Suninen and Joni Wiman who will also drive the remaining four events with Renault Clios in the Super1600 category.
“The summer break is over and we have had a breather. The season has once again gone really fast as we are already past the halfway point. Now it’s time for the final push. We are going through interesting times,” says team manager Jussi Pinomäki.
There are four events left from the ten-event season. Next weekend the action is going to happen in Belgium, followed by Holland the weekend after. These two events are very important for the title race. “Andreas is full of confidence. Small things don’t bother him. He has driven a good and consistent season so far, and he has a good starting point. He is always very consistent regardless of the track. Jussi-Petteri has been in the receiving end which has got into him a little bit. But he has the speed. Now he has to attack. He is definitely driving to win every event. Timur’s goal is the A final. He has managed it already once. His speed is continuously increasing and most importantly he has found it during the first day, on Saturday,” says Pinomäki.
Bakkerud has a two-point lead in the championship standings ahead of Dane Ulrik Linnemann (89 vs 87 points). Leppihalme is 5th (68 points) and Shigaboutdinov 11th (27 points).
From the Belgium event on there are two new drivers in the Super1600 category, Teemu Suninen and Joni Wiman. Originally they were supposed to drive in the new JRX category, but problems with the new cars forced the jump to bigger cars for the rest of the season. “We did testing with the JRX cars, but we felt that they weren’t yet reliable enough. The car and the idea are both good, and I believe in this category. But now it seems that there is still some work to be done to develop the cars further. Therefore, Teemu and Joni will drive in the Super1600 class. Despite being young they are both experienced drivers. I know them well enough to say that they will not be satisfied by aiming for the 15th place,” says Pinomäki.
Photo: Fighting for the 2012 Super1600s title, Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud und Finn Juspe Leppihalme. © JKR/ERC24