Two victories for Milla Mäkelä in V8 Thunder Finland finale at Ahvenisto
The last round of the V8 Thunder Finland Championship was a complete success for Milla Mäkelä: with two pole positions and two race wins, she ended the season in style and officially sealed the vice-champion title. A weekend to build on after an exciting season.
The final heats of the 2022 V8 Thunder Finland season were contested at Ahvenisto, Finland, with a battle for second and third in the championship still wide open - while the champion was already crowned: Toni Lähteenmäki, in fact, would not start the final rounds, having already clinched his back-to-back titles. Third in the 2021 championship, Milla Mäkelä gave it her all to clinch second in this year's standings. “We headed to Ahvenisto quite relaxed considering the series, but of course we wanted to do a good job and take home that race win. At the previous round we showed that we have the speed to take the win, but luck wasn't on our side.” - Milla Mäkelä said ahead of the final races. And after many second places and podium finishes, Mäkelä was all in at Ahvenisto: enjoying a good gap in the points, she went for the big goal and made the most out of the weekend with two wins at the Finnish racetrack. Milla had a good start from second, while her closest follower Petri Ortju dropped back from pole position to fifth. She quickly opened a gap over Jarkko Tähtinen and Miko Kiminki in second and third place. Tähtinen and Kimini battled half-way through the race for the remaining podium spots - as Kiminki passed Tähtinen, who would then fight back finishing second, behind Milla Mäkelä. As Mäkelä took the chequered flag securing her first win of the season - and with Ortju only 4th - the young Finnish lady officially sealed the silver medal in the championship on Saturday, securing the runner up spot behind Lähteenmäki in 2022. The battle for bronze was still on for the last race on Sunday. “I got an amazing start! One of the best I’ve ever had", Mäkelä explained. "Thanks to that start I got a nice gap behind me and was able to do my own race from start to finish. It was a great feeling to control the race." "I noticed a bit of vibrations from the front at the end of the race so it was good to have a bit of margin to be cautious during the last few laps and bring the car home in P1.” - she recalled. Sunday's race was the last one on the 2022 season and Milla Mäkelä started from pole after she had set the fastest lap in the previous race. Again, she was able to hold the lead while Ortju dropped back, with Tähtinen passing him at the start. The race followed this order for most of the racing time; Kiminki got closer to Vesa Mäkelä and overtook him half-way through the race - and showing good pace, he was able to move ahead of Ortju as well. There was a bit of late drama when conditions changed in the last laps, as raindrops started to fall and as the lap times increased. No one went off track luckily, and Milla Mäkelä could score her second victory, coming home with a perfect weekend from Ahvenisto. Third place in the championship went to Ortju. “Race 2 was super exciting when the rain hit different parts of the track on different laps." - Mäkelä said. "Winning is never easy, but this time it really needed a full focus to stay between the barriers with the slick tyres.” - she continued. Ultimately, Milla Mäkelä had a great season with 2 victories, 9 podiums, 3 fastest lap and no DNFs out of ten races in the V8 Thunder Finland Championship. "We have finished every race since 2019 and over 50% of them are podium finishes", Mäkelä stated, highlighting a really impressive stat. "We have a great team, I tell what's wrong and my dad has an analysis on how to fix it." "Miikka fixes everything and I literally mean everything! If there’s a problem that no one can fix, he can do it.", she explained, praising her small yet efficient team. "My boyfriend Ville always has the energy to do the extra work and final checks to make sure everything is ready no matter how hard a day it was or how late it is. And our mum makes sure everything runs on schedule and that everyone has eaten and is ready for the tough parts of the day.” - she concluded. After a third and second place in the championship, hopefully Milla Mäkelä will be able to go for the title in her next step!