April 17, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
Janne Tanskanen will surely acknowledge the truth in the saying "third time lucky" after clinching his maiden GPVWC victory at a chaotic Japanese GP in Suzuka.

The Finnish ace, starting second on the grid behind Joe Consiglio, drove a clean, mistake free race to clinch the victory that had eluded him in agonisingly cruel fashion in both Melbourne and Shanghai. Consiglio finished second, while teammate Adam Rouse beat Mark Wicks for the last step of the podium.

The race saw a first start red flagged after a series of incidents, notably William Ponissi colliding with Ryan McConkey (the American driver standing in for Mal McKee) and Nikos Evangelidakis being hit by Neil Peters' Convex. Several other contacts followed in the confusion, with GPVWC Race Director Ollie Woods calling a restart.

The second start wasn't without its share of drama either, Kieran Ryan battling for position with Wicks and ending his return to GPVWC with a close encounter with the wall. In an attempt to avoid the spinning D.O.R. car, contact between Michelangelo Manrique, Peters and others prompted the entrance of the Safety Car.

At the restart, a controversial situation between Rouse and Jyri Lylykorpi resulted in the Nordsjoen driver receiving a penalty, thus forfeiting his chance of win. These two drivers will be protagonist, in the course of the race, of a fascinating fight that - though it often went close to a catastrophic ending - lit up the evening. Rouse eventually disposed of the Finn, and with Janne Tanskanen proceeding undisturbed to the win followed by Consiglio, set out to close the gap on Mark Wicks.

With few laps to go, the Cornish driver - who is rumoured to be a prominent stakeholder in a group of entrepreneurs wishing to purchase a GPVWC team - mounted a fierce defense, but Adam Rouse was able to skillfully snatch P3 at the dead.

Jyri Lylykorpi closed 5th, while the fight for 6th between returning ace Phil Perkins and Mark Stanton was decided by the latter's impact with William Ponissi's Allen - relegating Stanton in 7th and Ponissi, last of the finishers, in 9th, behind Nikos Evangelidakis, the only driver besides Mark Stanton to score in each of the first three races.