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Season 2012: Spanish GT & Finnish Rally Championship series

Highslide JS
Time of event
Event name and location
Result
Report
13-14.01.2012
FRC Riihimäki Rally
13th
27-28.01.2012
Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi
11th
28-29.04.2012
SpanishGT Algarve, Portugal
3rd & 5th
19-20.05.2012
SpanishGT Jarama, Spain
1st & 1st
16-17.06.2012
SpanishGT Motorland, Spain
2nd & 3rd
15-16.09.2012
SpanishGT Valencia, Spain
3rd & ret.
13-14.10.2012
SpanishGT Jerez, Spain
2nd & 2nd
03-04.11.2012
SpanishGT Barcelona, Spain
7th & 2nd

Spanish GT final standings 12/12 rounds, top-6:
1. Mikko Eskelinen, 159 points
2. Cesar Campaniço, 145 points
3. Miguel Ramos, 143 points
4. Alvaro Fontes, 140 points
5. Francesc Gutiérrez, 138 points
=. Luis Villalba, 138 points

Endurance Trophy Iber GT final standings 8/8 rounds, top-10:
1. Francesc Gutiérrez & Luis Villalba, 60 points
2. Álvaro Fontes & Jesús Díez Villarroel & Gianluca Carboni, 59 points
3. Cesar Campaniço & Mikko Eskelinen, 51 points
4. Alan Sicart, 45 points
5. Miguel Ramos & Joao Ramos, 34 points


Season 2012 videos:
- FRC Riihimäki rally - crask @ tests
- FRC Riihimäki rally 2012 - Incar SS1
- FRC Riihimäki rally 2012 - Incar SS2
- Arctic Lapland Rally 2012 - Incar SS1
- Arctic Lapland Rally 2012 - Incar SS2
- Arctic Lapland Rally 2012 - Race spoiled
- First tests with Audi R8 LMS in Portugal
- Rally experience services in Koskenpää
- Spanish Jerez Audi R8 LMS tests - Action
- Spanish Jerez Audi R8 LMS tests - Incar
- Spanish GT Portugal TV-broadcast
- Spanish GT Portugal RaceCam
- Spanish GT Portugal MikkoCam #1
- Spanish GT Portugal MikkoCam #2
- Spanish GT Portugal MikkoCam #3
- Spanish GT Jarama TV-broadcast
- Spanish GT Jarama RaceCam
- Spanish GT Motorland TV-broadcast
- Spanish GT Motorland RaceCam
- Spanish GT Valencia TV-broadcast
- Spanish GT Valencia RaceCam

- Spanish GT Valencia MikkoCam #1
- Spanish GT Valencia MikkoCam #2
- Spanish GT Jerez TV-broadcast
- Spanish GT Jerez RaceCam

- Spanish GT Jerez MikkoCam #1
- Spanish GT Jerez MikkoCam #2
- Spanish GT Barcelona TV-lähetys
- Spanish GT Barcelona kisakooste

- Spanish GT Barcelona MikkoCam #1
- Spanish GT Barcelona MikkoCam #2
- Merry Christmas 2012


15.01.2012 - Mikko Eskelinen in winter sleep at FRC Riihimäki rally - 13th position a big dissapointment

Highslide JSFirst round of Finnish Rally Championship series was driven in a perfect winter conditions in surroundings of Riihimäki, southern Finland. However a Flying Finn Mikko Eskelinen, 39, wasn't able to collect any Championship points as after eight special stages and 93 special stage kilometres he was forced to satisfy for very dissapointing 13th position.

In pre-event shakedown Eskelinen and his co-driver Arto Kapanen experienced a fast-paced off and during the intense rally they weren't able to push the speed to match against fellow competitors. Eskelinen suffered lack of self-confidence and small amount of test kilometres.

Even the dissapointment was very hard for Eskelinen, who drive with PrintSport Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, he was very happy for the success of PrintSport Racing another driver mr. Esapekka Lappi, who took his maiden Finnish Rally Championship series event victory.

- I lost my speed to pre-rally shakedown stage where I experienced an off. During the whole rally day I wasn't able to find confidence for my driving and wasn't able to match my speed for top drivers. I should have driven more bolder and take more risks, but this time I just couldn't do it, explained Eskelinen his sleepness.

- Even big dissapointment I won't be sad as we now focus our efforts for next round which is to be driven in final weekend of January in surroundings of Rovaniemi, Arctic Circle. In next week I must get my head straight and start reducing the gap for my fellow competitors, Eskelinen continues.

"Just like being a part of manufacturer team"

For past four seasons Mikko Eskelinen has been using PrintSport Racing cars and services. He shares big gratitudes for the team which is lead by two times Finnish Rally Champion mr. Eero Räikkönen. Eskelinen feels very proud as he has been able to be a part of Finnish professional motorsport team.

- I've always liked PrintSport Racing and its' professionality and atmosphere. The spirit in team is absolitely huge and know-how for motorsport issues is very high. I feel like being a manufacturer rally driver, Eskelinen tells.

- Now we go back to test stage and make lots of work to improve my speed for the level which is has been for example in WRC Rally Finland where I've two times driven 7th fastest group-N result. When knowing PrintSport Racing team manager mr. Eero Räikkönen he won't rest until he as fixed my throttle foot position. My intentions from Arctic Lapland rally are are to bring lots of team and personal points, Eskelinen shares his thoughts.

FRC Riihimäki Rally final results, 14th January 2012: 4WD-group, Top-5:
1. Esapekka Lappi & Janne Ferm, Ford Fiesta S2000, 51:47,0
2. Juha Salo & Marko Salminen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, +12,9sec
3. Mikko Pajunen & Kaj Lindström, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +28,3sec
4. Joni Nikko & Jarno Ottman, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +1.02,2sec
5. Jukka Korhonen & Mikael Korhonen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +1:10,9sec
---
13. Mikko Eskelinen & Arto Kapanen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, +3:52,7sec

28.1.2012 - Mikko Eskelinen lost game in Arctic Lapland rally on Siikakämä stage

Highslide JSFlying Finn Mikko Eskelinen, age of 39, was, aimed for top-10 finish in highly appreciated Arctic Lapland Rally which was driven in final weekend of January 2012. However after two intense days of action, 10 special stages and 232 special stage kilometres he and his fellow co-driver Arto Kapanen finished the event in 11th position. Eskelinen suffered small technical problems aswell as a little driving mistake which eventually cost few minutes of extra time in legendary stage of Siikakämä.

Despite major dissapointment Eskelinen, who drove the event with PrintSport Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS gr. N car, was a happy man. Reason for his happiness was another PrintSport Racing driver mr. Esapekka Lappi who won the rally. Lappi, age of 20, is now youngest ever Arctic Lapland Rally winner and due superb result he continues leading Finnish Rally Championship series with his Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car.

Without a small driving mistake and technical difficulties, Eskelinen would have been even more happier.

- For Arctic Lapland Rally stages I made a bold pace note - and tried to drive like the note told me to do. However this strategy cost us small driving mistakes which eventually in Siikakämä stage took us to snow bank and we lost over 2 minutes of valuable stage time. During the rally I was able to drive only three of ten trouble-free stages. Still me and my co-driver happy to see the chequerred flag, told Eskelinen.

New plans for summer 2012

In two previous seasons Eskelinen has driven on tarmac at FIA GT3 European Championship series. Now for season 2012 he has choosen new plans as he still continues driving on international racing arenas. Finn measures his speed in top team with top and highly competitive new car which offers him excellent possibilities to drive for the Champion title.

- After one successful and another very difficult FIA GT3 European Championship series season it's now time for new challenges. An agreement with successful portugalise team gives me a seat with their winning car. It'll offer me all possibilities to drive, once again, Finnish racing history in a series which starts in first weekend of May in Portugalise Algarve circuit, Eskelinen tells.

His season 2012 plans are to be published soon.

Final results Arctic Lapland rally 2012:
1. Esapekka Lappi & Janne Ferm, Ford Fiesta S2000, 1:41:55,0
2. Juha Salo & Marko Salminen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, +37,5sec
3. Mikko Pajunen & Kaj Lindström, TMR Subaru R4, +3:19,4sec
---
11. Mikko Eskelinen & Arto Kapanen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS, +10:20,6sec

3.2.2012 - Top seat for Mikko Eskelinen in Spanish GT - Finnish Racing Champion enters behind the steering wheel of winning team Audi R8 LMS GT3

Highslide JSDouble-time Finnish Racing and one-time Finnish Rally Suomi Cup champion mr. Mikko Eskelinen, age of 39, makes a bold jump in his racing career and enters behind the steering wheel of Audi R8 LMS in Spanish GT. Eskelinen aims for the Spanish Championship title with portugalise Team Nova Driver and team mate Cesar Campanico who have two times won Spanish GT and Portugal Championship. In his long career he has also achieved third position in FIA GT3 European Championship series.

Flying Finn is very satisfied for the deal and excellent possibility for him to drive for the title with one of the most competitive car of the series.

- As after two GT3 European Championship series season I have had this possibility to compete in top team with top car I didn't hesitate a bit to enter this new challenge. This agreement gives me excellent positions to drive for the title of my second home country, Eskelinen tells.

- I know my new team mate Cesar Campanico from previous seasons and I know he's damn fast. For example in first tests me, my new team and Campanico had a great start for our new co-operation to archieve our common goals, Eskelinen continues.

Long events gives window for strategy

In Finnish and in FIA GT3 European Championship series the events are about 60 minutes. In Spanish GT two of six events are about an hour and four of six are two hours and 10 minutes. There are mandatory pit stops, tyre changes and refuelling to be made in the events. As one event includes free practice session, qualifying and one event there are lots of colourful racing for success ahead. Strategy gives new boost also for Eskelinen.

- Long events and possibility for strategy are two main reasons why I choosed this new challenge. Furthermore as some of the events are to be driven with GT2 cars there are huge amount of cars on the circuit at the same time. It gives lots of intresting new aspects for me and also for spectators. Even now I know that it's going to be very hot season ahead of us, Eskelinen tells.

Test work in progress

Team Nova Driver and Mikko Eskelinen have already had one test day which was driven in portugalise circuit of Portimao Algarve. Second test day is going to be held in Spanish Jerez on forthcoming weekend. Eskelinen was very satisfied for the first test day and left the circuit with huge smiley on his face.

In first test Flying Finn got familiriazed himself with Team Nova Driver personel and Audi R8 LMS. In eight test hours Eskelinen drove approximately 200 test kilometres and was very happy for his times and progress he made during the day. Mikko was very taken for the professionality Team Nova Driver personel and for the car.

– Audi R8 LMS GT3 reminds a lot of my Finnish Lamborghini Gallardo. Both cars act logically, are very balanced and don't understeer or downsteer. Driver sees the car corners from the seat and all controls are located in optimal places, Eskelinen tells.

- Our first test day was very enjoyable as me and Campanico measured our speed and compared our driving styles and data which was collected from our driving. I cannot wait for the second test or the start of new season, he continues.

Season 2012 Spanish GT calendar
- 28-29.04.2012 - Algarve (Portugal)
- 19-20.05.2012 - Jarama (Espanja)
- 16-17.06.2012 - Motorland (Espanja)
- 15-16.09.2012 - Valencia (Espanja)
- 13-14.10.2012 - Jerez (Espanja)
- 03-04.11.2012 - Barcelona (Espanja)

28.4.2012 - Team Novadriver took the two Audi R8 LMS to second and third places

Highslide JSIn the end of a difficult race due to the rain that fell in the hour of the start, making enter on trace the "safety car", the Team Novadriver and his drivers couldn't be more satisfied. Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira driving the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Vodafone, Pocargil, Sanitana, Familitex, Teatro Club and m Look, finished at the second place the race devoted to the IBER GT championship. In the second Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Banco Sol, Mad-Croc, SIVA and Katsastus, César Campaniço and Mikko Eskalinen, occupied the lowest place of the podium.

If the race began with wet track, in the middle the track dry and forced the necessity of exchanging the wet Dunlop tires for tires for dry track. Prohibited by the regulation during the refueling and drivers exchange, the change for slick tires must be do it a couple of laps later, with the natural loss of time in the pits and on the laps did with completely degraded rain tires.

That finished by being damaging for both Audi R8 LMS of Team Novadriver, which were far away from the winner of the race, when this one ignored this prohibition who leads to a simple drive thru. The advantage obtained with the immediate use of the slicks was such that made this penalty harmless.

In the end of the day, the first race of IBER GT Championship for Team Novadriver ended with both cars in second and thirdly places, giving hopes for a major result in tomorrow's race.

César Campaniço – "The departure after the 'safety car' pull out to the pits, was chaotic, with many drivers off track right in front of me. I managed to avoid all the traps of the track and then found a Ferrari with a good rhythm and finished by doing almost the whole s my stint behind him. I managed to reach the first place between the contestants of the IBER GT, handing over the Audi R8 LMS of Team Novadriver with the colors of the Banco Sol to Mikko Eskelinen in this position. The third place is nice and very good for the championship."

Mikko Eskelinen – "César Campaniço did a brilliant work and handed the car to me in excellent condition. The first laps were terrible with the rain tires and everything goes worst when I changed for the slicks. Some parts were still wetted and until the rubber reached the ideal temperature I preferred to be cautious. Then I managed to take the Audi R8 LMS of Team Novadriver with the colors of Mad Croc and Katsastus up to the end, with much tranquility after the guys from pits told me that I have a good advantage on the remainders. At the end of the day, we finished the race at the third place, a good result looking to all the problems we faced."

29.4.2012 - César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen ended at the fifth place after troubled race in second round of Spanish GT in Portugal

Highslide JSOn the second race of the first double journey of the IBER GT Spanish Championship, Manuel Gião/Carlos Vieira ended the race at the same place as yesterday result. Taking the departure at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Vodafone, Pocargil, Sanitana, Familitex, Teatro Club and m Look, Manuel Gião caught ahead a treacherous track, and a group of tough drivers who made is race more challenging.

After that challenge, a new one emerges when begins to rain with intensity. A decision is necessary; stay with slicks or change for wet tires? Gião decided stay in slicks and that was the right decision. Placed in the second place, Manuel Gião hand over the Audi R8 LMS, with the colours of Sanitana and Vodafone, to Carlos Vieira. This one contented himself with carrying out his stint without committing mistakes.

Less luck had César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen. The Finnish was at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Banco Sol, Mad-Croc, SIVA and Katsastus, at the start of the race, becoming involved in the usual skirmishes in the middle of the pack. When the rain began to fall, Eskelinen preferred to stop for wet tires, a less correct decision because the track finished by drying and César Campaniço, who took the place of Mikko Eskalinen in the final stint, was forced to a new stopping for tires. From this moment, César Campaniço contented himself and just take the Audi R8 LMS up to end.

The conjugation of results obtained in the end of this first double journey, puts the Audi R8 LMS of Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira at the second place of the championship and the other car of the team, with César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen, is at the third place.

César Campaniço – "The race beginning was in charge of Mikko Eskelinen and everything ran badly, since it began to rain and we decide to change for rain tires, which revealed itself a mistake. The Mikko did an excellent work, when is handed over the Audi R8 LMS of Team Novadriver with the colors of Banco Sol without problems. However, I would return to the pits to change for slicks and with that I lose lots of time and I could do better than the 5th place."

Mikko Eskelinen – "Was a complicated start and everything was worse with the rain. We decide to exchange tires, but it was a mistake and we lost to much time. After that my only think was take the car to the end and handed the Audi R8 LMS with the colors of Mad Croc and Katsastus to César in the best conditions. Even so, I put under my belt some more miles that are very important to improve my driving. And, at the end, we achieved a very reasonable fifth place."

Classificação final 2ªCorrida
1. Jose C. Teixeira & Patrick Pereira da Cunha, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+
2. Manuel Gaio & Carlos Vieira, Team Nova Driver Audi R8 LMS Ultra
3. Antonio Nogueira, Porsche 997 GT3 R
4. Antonio Colmbra & Luis Silva, McLaren MP4-12C GT3
5. Mikko Eskelinen & Cesar Campanico, Team Nova Driver Audi R8 LMS Ultra
6. Jorge A. Silva de Quelroz & Pepe, Lamborghini Gallardp LP600+

20.5.2012 - César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen wins for Team Novadriver in Jarama

Highslide JSBittersweet journey for Team Novadriver. If the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Banco Sol, Mad-Croc, SIVA and Katsastus with César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen at the wheel, conquered brilliant victory for the IBER GT Spain Championship and for Endurance Trophy IBER GT, the second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of the team with the colors of Vodafone, Pocargil, IG Markets, Sanitana, mLook, Present Value Consulting and Teatro Clube, driven by Manuel Gião, Carlos Vieira and Lourenço Beirão da Veiga, where forced to retire in the first lap.

A mistake made by an adversary in the first complicated curve of the Jarama Circuit, put an end to the race of the second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver. Incident that would damaging the initial part of the race – carried out with moist track with all the cars equipped with dry tires – of the second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver driven by César Campaniço.

However, when the track dries completely, the driver of Team Novadriver began the recuperation and handed over the Audi R8 LMS Ultra to Mikko Eskelinen at the second place, at the end of the first stint. The Finnish driver carried out his stint in perfect form and with excellent rhythm, returned to pits to handover the car to César Campaniço, but now in the leadership of the race.

The driver of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver contented himself with consolidating the leadership, banking sufficient advantage for the final stint of the race, having time e enough for another stop for a quick refueling.

With this brilliant victory and the withdreaw of the main rivals, César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen rose to the first place of the Campeonato de Espanha IBER GT IBER GT and of Endurance Trophy IBER GT.

César Campaniço – "I'm very happy with this victory, after the training sessions we had shown some superiority. The beginning was something troubled and I still lost some positions due to the moist track and also due to the incident in the first lap. However, with much patience and calm, I managed to recover the lost positions, benefiting also of some misunderstanding between other drivers and reached the end of my first stint at the second place. Mikko did an excellent job and carried out what as planed in the perfection, handing over the car at the first place. Once on track, I try to save tyres and fuel consumption, but cant avoid an extra stopping in the box for a "spash and dash". It was a perfect weekend and I cannot stop pointing out the excellent work of Team Novadriver, simply perfect in all pit stop."

Mikko Eskelinen – "There are no words to describe the joy that I feel after this victory. Great work of César, who handed over the Audi R8 LMS Ultra in perfect conditions. Much that I have been learning with the team and the quality of the car, they helped me to go faster and I returned the Audi to César in the 1º place and with a good advantage. It was an excellent weekend, especially after what we suffered in the Algarve, where the second race did not run as we wish. This result underlines the excellent decision one I chose what I did while integrating the Team Novadriver."

Final results Spanish GT Jarama (Madrid) 20.5.2012:
1. Mikko Eskelinen & Cesar Campaniço, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra Super GT, 1.01'28.214
2. Rui Lapa & Matheus Stumpf & David Saraiva, Rodrive Ford GT Super GT, +2"101sek
3. Miguel A. de Castro & Alan Sicart, Drivex School Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Super GT, +27"137sek
4. Hugo Godinho & Miguel Ramos & Joao Ramos, Ray Racing Team Ferrari 430 GT2 Super GT, +1'10"142sek
5. Jorge A. Silva de Queiroz & Pepe, Goodsense Racing Team Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ Super GT, +1'38.051sek

16.6.2012 - Mikko Eskelinen on the podium in Aragorn keeps Championship leadership!

Highslide JSThe presence of the Team Novadriver on the third round of the double IBER GT Spanish Championship and second in the GT Endurance Trophy IBER, ended with mixed feelings to all team members.

On one hand, Cesar Campanico and Mikko Eskelinen on the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Banco Sol, Mad Croc, Hagen, SIVA, and Plus Katsastus, got a brilliant third place, taking into account the "handicap" in terms of time due to victory in the last round and the punitive balance of performance for the Audi.

The second triple of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra Team Novadriver, corresponding with the Vodafone, Pocargil, IG Markets, Sanitana, mLook, Present Value Consulting and Teatro Club composed by Manuel Gião, Carlos Vieira and Lourenço Beirão da Veiga, was unfortunate and finished ranked in 11th place, after being forced out with a fault in the power system.

Team Novadriver knew the layout of Motorland, very fast and with many straight lines, which is where the Audi R8 LMS Ultra would feel less comfortable because of the punitive balance performance (BoP), would be a difficult task to manage.

Still, an excellent performance for the two Audi R8 LMS Ultra Team Novadriver, always involved in the fight for victory, with Cesar Campanico and Mikko Eskellinen being constantly on top spots during the 120 min Race. All in all, the results recorded by the two pilots of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Banco Sol, Mad Croc, Hagen, Plus Katsastus and SIVA, at the end of the first hour (2nd place) and the goal line (3rd place) keeps the leadership of overall classification.

Cesar Campanico - "It was a race that turned out much better than the expectable, looking at the handicap of time that we had to overcome, but also because the Audi R8 LMS Ultra Team Novadriver was too choked and slow in straight line. Fortunately everything went for best and we could climb to the lowest place of the podium with two scores that allow us to keep on top of the championship. "

Mikko Eskelinen - "I confess that this is not really a circuit to my liking, too fast and got me some problems. However, to fulfill my role I gave the Audi R8 LMS Ultra Team Novadriver to Cesar Campaniço in great condition and he was very quick, managing to remain within the podium places. In the end, I just have to be happy for another great result for me and the team."

Final results 5/12 round:
1. Jesús Díez Villarroel & Álvaro Fontes & Gianluca Carboni, Porsche 997 GT3 R, 1.01'26.050
2. Cesar Campaniço & Mikko Eskelinen, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, +2"101sec
3. Patrick Pereira da Cunha & José C. Teixeira Ramos & Miguel Campos, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+, +13"247sec
4. Celso Miguez & Alessandro Pierguidi & Alan Sicart, Ferrari 430 GT2, +14"130sec
5. Manuel Giao & Lourenço Beirao Da Veiga & Carlos Vieira, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, +38"011sec

Final results 6/12 round:
1. Jesús Díez Villarroel & Álvaro Fontes & Gianluca Carboni, Porsche 997 GT3 R, 1.01'26.050, 2'01.871
2. Celso Miguez & Alessandro Pierguidi & Alan Sicart, Ferrari 430 GT2, +5"147sec
3. Cesar Campaniço & Mikko Eskelinen, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, +37"211sec
4. Miguel A. de Castro & Ferdinando Geri, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, +1 lap
5. Jorge A. Silva de Queiroz & Pepe, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+, +1 lap

15.9.2012 - Team Novadriver finishes the qualifying sessions in second place

Highslide JSAfter the three qualifying sessions, the Team Novadriver renewed his candidature to the victory in the tomorrow race that, we remembered, it will be disputed under the format of endurance race, with the duration of 130 minutes. In the end of the day the average time recorded by Manuel Gião, Lourenço Beirão da Veiga and Mikko Eskelinen, give to Team Novadriver the second place on the grid for the race of tomorrow.

Using the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Banco Sol, Vodafone, Mad Croc, IG Markets, Hagen, Sanitana, Katsastus, Present Value Consulting and SIVA, in full form, the three drivers showed a very quick pace thru all the day.

And the result might have been even better, because Lourenço Beirão da Veiga confessed that one of the slowest drivers of the Prototypes – admitted in this race to allow bigger quorum and so to disguise the poor engaged list – as obstructing the Team Novadriver's Audi R8 LMS Ultra in some sctores of the Valência track. Even so, the optimism reigns in the heart of Team Novadriver, betting clearly on the victory in the end of 130 minutes of the tomorrow race.

Manuel Gião – "I am very satisfied with my job and with the Team Novadriver's job in my qualifying session, contributing in a decisive way to the excellent team result that give us the secinf place on the grid for tomorrow's race. This result offers more motivation for tomorrow, where the objective is to take to the win the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of the Vodafone and Sanitana."

Lourenço Beirão da Veiga – "Perfectly well-adjusted to the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of the IG Markets and of Present Value Consuting I managed to show a fast pace, but a driver of onde of the prototypes covered me during some time and I did not manage to do a better time. It would be the 'pole - position', but even so, i'm satisfied with my work and with the result of the team."

Mikko Eskelinen – "In spite of sad for the absence of César Campaniço, I must be satisfied in the end of the qualifying sessions with the second place on the grid for tomorow's race, a fine result given by the effort of all os us and, of course, the very fast pace achieved by Manuel Gião and Lourenço Beirão da Veiga. I face some difficulties in get the right pace, and the my time was not the best, but in the end of the day, everything was set together and Team Novadriver put the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Mad Croc in the first line of the grid, maintaining the final objective: victory!"

Final results Spanish GT Valencia, qualifying, top-3:
1. Miguel Ramos / Joao Ramos, 1,36,376
2. Mikko Eskelinen / Manuel Giaon / Lourenço Beirão da Veigan, +0,030sek
3. Mario Cordoni / Matteo Beretta, +0,108sek

16.9.2012 - Team Novadriver scores in the first hour, retire at the end

FranceHighslide JSAfter the end of the fifth race of the Spanish IBER GT Championship and Endurance IBER GT Trophy, Team Novadriver left Valencia with a bittersweet taste, after the excellent demonstration of Manuel Gião, Lourenço Beirão da Veiga and Mikko Eskelinen at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Banco Sol, Vodafone, Mad Croc, IG Markets, Hagen, Sanitana, Katsastus, Present Value Consulting and SIVA.

If the "pole-position" for the race carried out today, in the format of 130 minutes and not in two races of 50 minutes each, escaped for thousandth of a second, a good final result runs away to the pilots of Team Novadriver due to a very rare mechanical problem in the Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

After a brilliant driving stint of Manuel Gião, who took the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver till the second place, was possible Lourenço Beirão da Veiga to maintain the position and so to score valuable points in the end of the first hour of race.

Unfortunately, a pit stop with some difficulties in start the Audi R8 LMS Ultra's engine, lead to a less calm start from pits that, in is turn, lead to the destruction of the clutch and to the final point in the race of Team Novadriver.

That problem came when everything was pointing for a possible victory of three drivers of Team Novadriver in a race that had on the top the final classification, to two of the Prototypes authorized to compete with the GT cars to mask the absence of a significant slice of the line up, having the best GT car finished only at the third place.

Manuel Gião – "The bad luck knocked at our door again and obstructed another excellent result. The Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of Vodafone and Sanitana, was very good for this track and after the start, where I lost some positions for the most powerful Porsche, I started to climb and managed to reach even the first place, position in which I handed over the car to Lourenço. We still manage to score in the end of the first hour, but the clutch decided to put an end to the excellent race that the team was doing."

Lourenço Beirão da Veiga – "Is sad when these things happen and we finish out of race for a mechanical problem, a more anoying thing when the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of IG Markets and Present Value Consuting was so fit for more then one hour. But motorsport is like this and in any case we still manage to score in the first race hour, which moderates a little bit the sadness of the retirement."

Mikko Eskelinen – "This time I did't had the opportunity to taake the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of Mad Croc, since a mechanical problem after a troubled pit stop forced the team to the retirement before my shift. Fortunately Manuel and Lourenço managed to score valuable points in the end of the first race hour. So, despite everything, I believe that i can fight for the title with the help of César Campaniço, back for the next race."

Final results Spanish GT Valencia 7/12 round: Top-5:
1. Miguel Ramos & Joao Ramos, Porsche 997 GT3 R, 1.00'07.916
2. Xavier Cazabón & Angel Amilibia, Norma M20FC Proto, +8"219sec
3. Manuel Giao & Lourenço Beirao Da Veiga, & Mikko Eskelinen, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, +8"310sec
4. Mario Cordoni & Matteo Beretta, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, +16"140sec
5. Miguel A. de Castro & Alan Sicart & Isaac Tutumlu, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, +27"342sec

Final results Spanish GT Valencia 8/12 round: Top-5:
1. Xavier Cazabón & Xavier Cazabón, Norma M20FC Proto, 2.10'00.382
2. Miguel Ramos & Joao Ramos, Porsche 997 GT3 R, +35"277sec
3. Mario Cordoni & Matteo Beretta, Ferrari 458 Italia, +38"036sec
4. Jesús Díez Villarroel & Álvaro Fontes & Gianluca Carboni, Porsche 997 GT3 R, +1'21"922sec
5. Miguel A. de Castro & Alan Sicart & Isaac Tutumlu, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Super GT, +1'27"515sec
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ret. Manuel Giao & Lourenço Beirao Da Veiga & Mikko Eskelinen, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, kytkinrikko

14.10.2012 - Team Novadriver wins and reinforce championship leadership In Jerez

Highslide JSAfter the show given in the free practices and in the three qualification sessions, Team Novadriver spread class again in the track of Jerez de La Frontera, stage for the penultimate race of the IBER GT Spanish Championship and the last for the Endurance Trophy IBER GT, placing the two Audi R8 LMS Ultra of the team in the first and second places of the podium.

Manuel Gião, Lourenço Beirão da Veiga and Carlos Vieira, driving the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Vodafone, Pocargil, Present Value Consulting, Sanitana, mlook, IG Markets, Theater Club and ADF, conquered the victory of emphatic form, when the double of Team Novadriver completed with the second place conquered by César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen driving the other Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of Banco Sol, MadCroc Energy Drink, Hagen, Plus Katsastus, SIVA and Value Frame.

With the results perfected in the end of 130 minutes of race, Mikko Eskelinen reinforced the leadership of the IBER GT Spanish Championship, César Campaniço roosted to the third place of the competition and the trio of driveres in the second Audi R8 LMS of Team Novadriver gave an enormous jump in the classification of the competition. Manuel Gião entered in teh Top Ten (he is now in the eighth place) and with possibilities, even merelly mathematical, to be champion.

Unfortunately, the forced absence of César Campaniço in the race of Valencia, removed the pilot of Team Novadriver and his team mate, Mikko Eskelinen, the chance of victory in Endurance Trophy IBER GT. That was conquer by a car of the GT Light category due to the peculiarity of the pontual scheme of the competition offering points to the scratch and to the category. Being the only car in the GT Light classe and in spite ending more them six laps behind of the fastest Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver, the Ginetta G50 of Francesc Gutierrez and Luis Villalba conquered the títle in a not very fair way.

In spite of that, the weekend was perfect for Team Novadriver in the IBER GT Spanish Championship, which will have his last race in the Catalan circuit of Montmeló, in the surroundings of Barcelona.

The Portuguese team will be present on the 3 and 4th of November in the Spanish track with the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Banco Sol, MadCroc Energy Drink, Hagen, Plus Katsastus, SIVA and Value Frame having Caesar Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen driving it and with second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of the Vodafone, Pocargil, Sanitana, Familitex, mlook and Theater Club, handed to Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira, when the competition is returning, in this last journey, to the format of two races with the duration of one hour each.

César Campaniço – "I Lost the first place in the start, what i was already waiting, since the Porsche were much quicker than the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver in a straight line. But since i was much quicker in the middle of the circuit, not many bends after i managing to pass for the first place, position in which I handed over the car to the Mikko. We know a small delay in the pts due to a more recalcitrant wheel in going out and we returned to the track in second. When I returned to the track it was already far from the other Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver and therefore I preferred to preserve the car even because the result was enlarging the advantage of Mikko in the championship and due to the peculiarity of the attribution of points, there was impossible to hit the Ginetta GT4 in the struggle for Endurance Trophy IBER GT. Be that as it may, it was the best weekend, with a tasty and deserved double for Team Novadriver."

Mikko Eskelinen – "I Am very happy with this second place that allows to me to continue in the front of the championship, enlarging the advantage on the most straight adversaries. It was a hard race, but César did an excellent work and the happiness is not bigger because I did not manage to help the Team Novadriver conquering the Endurance Trophy IBER GT, lost due to the scoring system, for a GT4 category car."

Final results Spanish GT Jerez 14.10.2012: 9/12 round: top-3
1. Manuel Giao & Lourenzo da Veiga & Carlos Vieira, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, 59,50.879
2. Mikko Eskelinen & Cesar Campaniço, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +10.199sec
3. Miguel Ramos & Joao Ramos, Porsche 997 GT3 R, +11.998sec

Final results Spanish GT Jerez 15.10.2012: 10/12 round: top-3
1. Manuel Giao & Lourenzo da Veiga & Carlos Vieira, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, 2:10.48,163
2. Mikko Eskelinen & Cesar Campaniço, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +46.524sec
3. Jesús Díez Villarroel & Álvaro Fontes & Gianluca Carboni, Porsche 997 GT3 R, +1.21,859sec

31.10.2012 - Team Novadriver wants to offer to Mikko Eskelinen his first title

FranceHighslide JSTeam Novadriver is going to be present with two Audi R8 LMS Ultra in the last journey of the Spanish Championship IBER GT, happening in the Spanish circuit of Motmeló, Barcelona, on the days 2 to the 4th of November.

Driving the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of Banco Sol, Mad Croc, Katsastus, Value Frame and SIVA, will be César Campaniço and Mikko Eskelinen, while in the second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver, with the colors of the Vodafone, Pocargil, Sanitana, Adrasa, mLook and Familitex, will be Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira at the wheel.

The forced absence of César Campaniço in the Valencis race, prevents the driver of Team Novadriver from fighting for the title, but with Mikko Eskelinen in the leadership of the IBER GT Championship, they will have the goal of attempt offering to the Finnish driver, in his first year with Team Novadriver, his first international title.

For the other crew of Team Novadriver, it is the attempt of offering to Manuel Gião the possibility to discuss a place in the final podium of the IBER GT Championship, counting with the precious help of Carlos Vieira.

All this in a weekend of races where the Spanish Championship Iber GT will have his epilogue and the races will return to the format of two stints, the first one carried out together with the International GT Open (duration of 70 minutes) and on Sunday in the company of the drivers of the Open GT Gentleman Trophy (duration 50 minutes).

César Campaniço – "Unfortunately I cannot fight for the victory in the championship, but I can help Mikko to reach the title and I will do everything for that, disposing of the help of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra and with the enormous evolution that Mikko knew along the year in terms of pilotage. It would be interesting to win his first international title in is first year with Team Novadriver."

Mikko Eskelinen – "I Am something nervous with the responsibility, but at the same time confident, since I have to my side one of the most fast and complete drivers of the championship and i can count with Team Novadriver of entrusting to me an Audi R8 LMS Ultra perfectly in tune. If i conquer the title, that will be one of the happiest days of my life!"

Manuel Gião – "My first season with Team Novadriver was not what i was waiting, with too many bad luck that placed us out of the orbit of the discussion of the title. However, with the help of Carlos Vieira and after the victory in Jerez, I still want to get a place in the final podium of the championship."

Carlos Vieira – "After the title conquered in Portugal, i would love be in the struggle for one more championship, but being impossible that, I go for Barcelona to help the Team Novadriver conquering the absolute title with Mikko Eskelinen and allowing that Manuel Gião could reach one of the places of the podium in the end of the competition."

3.11.2012 - Tiimimoka jätti Eskelisen seitsemänneksi Spanish GT Barcelonan lauantain osakilpailussa - Mestaruus huipentuu sunnuntain finaalilähdössä

Highslide JSRata-autoilun Espanjan mestaruussarjan viimeistä edellisessä startissa ei draamaa puuttunut kun jyväskyläläinen Mikko Eskelinen, 40, koki pettymyksen syviä hetkiä. Myöhäiseksi venähtänyt kuljettajan vaihto toi aikasakon, joka jätti sarjajohtajan seitsemänneksi. Näin portugalilaisen Team Novadriverin Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3 autolla kilpailevan suomalaisen kohtalona oli katsella kuinka 16 elintärkeää mestaruuspistettä karkasi kanssakilpailijoiden taskuihin ja mestaruustaistelu meni täysin uusiksi.

Aika-ajoissa paalupaikan kellottanut tallitoveri Cecar Campanico teki puhtaan suorituksen ja toi auton kärkipaikalla Eskeliselle, joka myös teki virheettömän ajosuorituksen. Kuitenkin tiimin strateginen päätös ajattaa Campanicoa yksi kierros liian pitkään aiheutti aikataulullisen sääntörikkomuksen, jonka seurauksena kilpailun tuomaristo langetti autokunnalle yhden lisäkierroksen rangaistuksen. Näin mestaruustaistelu sai dramaattisen käänteen kun kanssakilpailijat nousivat mukaan mestaruustaisteluun kun pitkästä sarjasta ajamatta on vain sunnuntainen 50 minuutin finaalilähtö.

Vaikka Eskelinen tietää, että moottoriurheilu on joukkueurheilua, ei hän silti peitellyt syvää pettymystään.

- Palkintokorokesija ja mestaruus oli hopeatarjottimella, mutta tänään se ei kelvannut tiimillemme. Tämä virhe oli katastrofaalinen oppitunti siitä kuinka moottoriurheilu on viimeisen päälle joukkueurheilua, jossa niin kuljettajien panos kuin koko muun tiimin toiminta vaikuttaa lopputulokseen, Eskelinen kertoo.

- Huomiseen starttiin lähden kolmannesta ruudusta ja mikään muu ei kelpaa kuin palkintokorokesija. Laskimme, että kolmanneksi korkeimmat pisteet vielä riittäisivät mestaruuteen ja sen saavuttamiseksi tarvitaan myös apuja tänään hopeasijan saavuttaneelta tallitoveriltamme. Nyt niellään pettymys, unohdetaan tämä kilpailu ja huomenna tuodaan auto tavoitteiden mukaisella tuloksella maaliin, päättäväinen Eskelinen jatkaa.

Sunnuntaina ajettava päätösosakilpailu starttaa Suomen aikaa klo 13.45.

Lopputulokset Spanish GT Montmelo, Barcelona 3.11.2012, Top-3:
1. Miguel Ramos & Raffaele Giammaria, Chevrolet Corvette C6R GT2, 1,30,864
2. Manuel Giao & Carlos Vieira, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +58,422sek
3. Patrick Cunha & Jose Ramos, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+, 1,53,234sek
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7. Mikko Eskelinen & Cecar Campanico, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +1 kierros

4.11.2012 - Team Novadriver and Mikko Eskelinen win IBER GT Spanish Championship

Highslide JSWith the second place obtained in the second race of the last double journey of the IBER GT Spanish Championship, disputed today in the Circuit of Montmeló, Barcelona, in the company of César Campaniço and driving the Audi R8 LMS Ultra with the colors of the Banco Sol, MadCroc Energy Drink, Hagen, Plus Katsastus, SIVA and Value Frame, Mikko Eskelinen wins the championship 2012, offering so the fourth title of the season to Team Novadriver.

In spite of the difficult beginning, with the damp track, Mikko Eskelinen managed to maintain the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver in the first places, using the neutralization of the race for the entry of the Safety Car. When the drivers change was done – where they lost a hand full of precious seconds to exchange a tire that was with a slow puncture – César Campaniço recovered several positions and managed to end at the second place, enough to give Mikko the title.

The second Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Novadriver with the colors of the Vodafone, Pocargil, Sanitana, Familitex, ADF, Adrasa, Mlook and SIVA, driven by Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira, they were not lucky on his side. After the yesterday victory, the today race was marked by a penalty (drive thru) due to a passing judged out of the limits of the track, which relegated the pair for the third place.

César Campaniço – "I Am very happy because of having helped the Mikko to reach this excellent result. It was a hard race, but it was the time lost in the pits to exchange a tire that prevented from getting the victory. Even so, the result was sufficient in order that the Mikko was a champion. In this hour of celebration, I cannot forget that Team Novadriver was present in five competitions and won four of them, closing the fifth (the European FIA GT3) at

the fourth place, shpwing to all that we are a very professional, competent team and at the level one of the best teams in europe. Also for this fact I am very satisfied."

Mikko Eskelinen – "Finally champion! I am very, very happy because of having conquered this title, without being able to stop thanking the extraordinary work of César Campaniço. He was deserving much this title by everything that did along the season. The victory in the championship is the result of a right choice done in the beginning of the season, when I chose Team Novadriver, professional team, with enormous quality and a fabulous environment. My gratitude to the whole team, to César and to all the sponsors for the support who offered me to conquer this tasty title. Now, it is hour of celebrating in the right way my first international success!"

Final results Spanish GT Montmelo, Barcelona 3.11.2012, Top-3:
1. Miguel Ramos & Raffaele Giammaria, Chevrolet Corvette C6R GT2, 1,30,864
2. Manuel Giao & Carlos Vieira, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +58,422sec
3. Patrick Cunha & Jose Ramos, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+, 1,53,234sec
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7. Mikko Eskelinen & Cecar Campanico, Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +1 lap

Final results Spanish GT Montmelo, Barcelona, 12/12 osakilpailu: Top-3:
1. Miguel Ramos & Raffaele Giammaria, Chevrolet Corvette C6R GT2, 50,59.874
2. Alessandro Pier Guidi & Álvaro Fontes, Ferrari 430 GT2, +40,324sec
3. Cecar & Mikko, Team Nova Driver Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, +53,323sec
 
Mikko Eskelisen kotisivut on suunnitellut ja toteuttanut MediaGuru Jack Bacon - Digitaalisen median tuotantostudio - www.mediaguru.fi