Fabled Finnish Horice Speedsters

Fabled Finnish Horice Speedsters

Special thanks to Czech Road Racing statistician Jan Vavra for putting together another fascinating stats based article, which revolves around 20th/21st Century Finnish racers circulating around the Czech Republic’s most acclaimed real roads circuit, Horice.

Jan’s recently compiled piece, reads as follows:

The first Finnish rider participating in non-yesteryear races at Horice in 1968 was probably multiple times participant in following years, Seppo Kangasniemi.

To the present times unofficially 23 riders in total from Finland have participated at Horice (not on classics machinery).

Three times overall, the sound of ´Maamme´ national anthem arose at Horice for winning a race.

Later three-time overall 2nd in World Championship (1973 in 350 cc behind Giacomo Agostini, in the same year in 250 cc behind Dieter Braun and 1976 in 500 cc behind Barry Sheene) Teuvo Lansivuori took 250 cc race spoils as a newcomer to Horice in 1970.

Seppo Kangasniemi won the 125-cc race in 1975. Tuukka Korhonen added another victory for Finland in the 250 GP race of 2013.

Erno Kostamo set last August during the IRRC Superbike race, the quickest lap time (2.14.735) of all time by a Finnish competitor at Horice. Kostamo is also the sixth fastest racer overall of all time.

Macau GP 2022 winner and TT/NW 200 exponent Kostamo is additionally 4th fastest newcomer (2.17.903) in overall Horice history behind Davey Todd, Vincent Lonbois and Sebastien Le Grelle.

Juha Kallio (2.19.620) with TT 2013 and 2014 experience is another rider from Finland within the list of riders, who have lapped under the magic value of 2 minutes 20 seconds. The previously mentioned Tuukka Korhonen is also very well-known for his Manx GP, TT exploits.

Added IRRC regulars or wild card Finnish participants which have also circulated around Horice are Anssi Koski, Lasse Karki, Marko Sinkkonen and Sammy Ahonen.

Aimo Heinonen was first participant from Finland in the modern era in the 250 GP class in 2010. It was more than 30 years after great Finnish riders at the end of 1970´s staring such as Grand Prix points finisher Eero Hyvarinen.

One point of interest is that Grand Prix Legend Jarno Saarinen was announced on the start lists for 125cc and 250 cc races in 1970, was a potential entrant in 1971 and 1972 at Horice but organizers didn´t have enough money for his start.

In terms of Finnish classic machinery races exponents at Horice, there is the likes of Jari Suvitie.

There are some racers in Horice history from other north countries outside Sweden and Finland like Ove Skifjed (Norway), Mati Reinup (Estonia) and Danish speedsters: three times Horice 250 cc race winner and Supersport exponent Anders Blacha (2.21.722), Fleming W.Frandsen, Alex Franz Kroon.

Former Horice lap record holder Borge W. Nielsen (2.46.3 in 1973), last year IRRC Horice participants Thomas Stripp (2.27.809) and Sylvester Kristensen (2.40.666 – only practice).

Horice participants 2010-2023

(Personal best lap time located near racers name)

Erno Kostamo – 2.14.735

Juha Kallio – 2.19.620

Anssi Koski – 2.21.666

Lasse Karki – 2.25.025

Tukka Korhonen – 2.27.486

Marko Sinkkonen – 2.32.253 (only practice)

Aimo Heinonen – 2.42.980

Sammy Ahonen – 2.44.121 (only practice)

Horice participants before 2010 (unofficially)

(personal bests are not known – year of participation near racer’s name)

Seppo Kangasniemi – 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976

Pertti Leinonen – 1969

Osmo Hansen – 1970

Teuvo Lansivuori – 1970, 1971

Jussi Rantanen – 1974, 1975

Matti Kinnunen – 1975, 1976

Seppo Ojala – 1976

Matti Makila – 1976

Eero Hyvarinen – 1976

Mika-Sakari Komu – 1977

Reino Eskelinen – 1978

Seppo Rossi – 1978

Seppo Kokkonen – 1979

Martti Solja – 1979

Sami Torvinen – 1979

In memory of Sammy Ahonen.

Photo credit: Nick Wheeler

Words by Jan Vavra

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