Saturday, 22 February 2014

Female Single-Seater Drivers Around the World: Finland

Emma Kimilainen

Sanna Pinola now has her own post. 

Pinja Forsman – raced in Formula Ford in 2010. She was driving for the Söderman team. Her best overall finish was sixth, at Alastaro. She was eleventh in the final championship standings, and fifth in the Zetec-engined class. Her race programme also included two North European Zone Formula Ford Cup races, which gave her 19th in that championship. After 2010, she does not seem to have raced again. 

Emma Kimilainen (Liuski) - single-seater driver from Finland. She first raced cars in 2005, in Finnish Formula Ford, coming second overall and winning a string of rookie awards. As well as the Finnish title, she was also runner-up in the Northern Europe Formula Ford Championship, having narrowly missed that title in 2006. In 2007, she switched to sportscars and was consistently in the top three in Swedish Formula Radical. Her three wins were enough to cement her third place in the championship She competed in German Formula ADAC in 2008, after undertaking a DTM test during the off-season. Her overall result was tenth, with a single podium finish, after coming up against good opposition. In 2009, she travelled to the UK to race in Formula Palmer Audi, after a successful test. She was the series' most successful female driver, with two seconds and two thirds, and a fifth place overall. She was set to return in 2010, but does not appear to have raced, although she did test for the Charouz AutoGP team, and possibly for the DTM. She was not involved with motorsport for a long time, but made a comeback in 2014, driving a Saab 9-3 in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. She had an eventful season, crashing into Prince Carl Philip of Sweden in her first race, at Knutstorp, then crashing again, at Göteborg. One high point was a second place at Falkenberg, and she did manage some other top tens. She was eleventh overall, admitting herself that she was out of practice. A second season in Scandinavian Touring Cars ran more smoothly, with a more consistent Emma finishing seventh overall. Her best finish was third, achieved at Mantorp Park and Anderstorp. She raced a SEAT Leon in the 2016 STCC, but unreliability problems struck. Her best finish was a sixth place at Anderstorp. After the tenth race, she left the championship abruptly due to issues out of her control, leaving her in eleventh place. For 2017, she announced that she would be taking part in a new electric racing initiative, Electric GT: this did not come together. Instead, she drove a thirsty Ford Mustang in Thundercars, in Sweden and Finland. She won two of her six races in Finland, and finished the rest on the podium. She earned one podium in the Swedish series; a second at Ahvenisto. 

Laura Koivoluoma - former karter in Europe, who also did some single-seater racing. In 2007, she drove for the Pekka Saarinen team for two rounds of the Asian Formula Renault Challenge. After a few more years of karting, she entered the Finnish  Formula Ford Junior Championship in 2011. She was seventh overall. In summer 2012, she announced her retirement from motorsport, at the age of 24, for reasons never fully explained.

Milla Mäkelä - active in Formula Ford since 2009, when she was 16. She always races for her family’s Mäkelä Racing team. Her first races were in the Finnish Formula Ford Zetec championship, although right away, she took  part in two Northern European Formula Ford races as well, in neighbouring Sweden. In 2010, her calendar was similar, but she was on the pace in the Finnish Junior Championship, and finished the season in tenth. Again, she guested in the NEZ championship, for two races. In 2011, she concentrated solely on the Finnish championship, and was one better in ninth. The following year, she scored her first podium finish, a third at Alastro, and was fifth overall, one behind her brother, Miikka, who is her constant team-mate. Milla achieved another two top-five positions, at Alastro and Ahvenisto. Mid-season, she raced at the NEZ meeting at Karlskoga, and finished two out of three races, in twelfth and fourteenth. In 2013, she was ninth in the Finnish championship. However, her three Swedish races in the NEZ series were enough to give her ninth in that championship, her best yet. She raced again in the Finnish series in 2014, and was normally a midfield finisher. She scored another podium finish, a third at Alastaro, and was fourth in the championship. In 2015, she had a good season in Finnish Formula Ford, despite missing some of the races. She scored three second places, and one third, and was fifth in the championship. For part of the year, she also raced in Danish Formula Ford, and earned one sixth place, at Spa. Another Finnish FF season was rather patchy, although she did earn herself two third places at Kemora. In 2017, she switched to saloon racing, in the BMW Xtreme Cup. This ended up only being a part-season, and she was 17th overall. Her best race result was fifth at Ahvenisto.

Netta Pekkala – former karter who raced in the 2014 Formula Ford championship. Despite being only fifteen years old, she already had ten years of karting experience, plus some Formula Ford testing, undertaken in 2013. Her best finishes in 2014 were two fifth places, at Ahvenisto and Alastaro, and she was seventh in the championship, winning the Zetec class from three other drivers. This class win was her objective for the year, and she hoped to make an attempt at the outright championship in 2015. Unfortunately, she does not seem to have raced in 2015. She now races snowmobiles.

(Image from

1 comment:

  1. Emma Kimiläinen drive this year STCC - Saab, she also now twitter user.