Mika Kallio takes on the Crosskart Challenge
During the winter Mika Kallio likes to relax by racing around a frozen lake on a motocross bike fitted with lethal looking spiked tyres. Unfortunately, ice racing is a winter only sport, even in Finland, so the 30-year-old Marc VDS rider had to find something else to keep him amused during the summer months.
Obviously that something else had to be as exciting (read lethal) as ice racing, which is why Mika decided to contest selected rounds of the Finnish Crosskart Challenge this year.
A Crosskart is basically an off-road buggy featuring a welded steel frame and powered by an engine liberated from a Suzuki GSXR750. Weighing around 300kg and with 150BHP on tap, racing a Crosskart off-road is not for the fainthearted, as the video of Mika’s run at the recent Laajavuori race, which he finished ninth, shows quite clearly!
“I was ninth in this race, but only because they gave me penalties for hitting the tyres,” declared Mika.
“I got into Crosskart racing because I know the guys who organise the series. They also import the Crosskarts into Finland and, last year, they asked me if I wanted to test one of them. I gave it a go and it was good fun to drive, so I decided to do as many races as I could this season, when they didn’t clash with Moto2, obviously.”
“In the first race I finished third and then, in the second, I won. It’s good to see that the speed is there on four wheels as well as two. It’s also something that you can do all year round, as the Crosskarts work just as well on snow and ice as they do on gravel and tarmac.”
The speed might be there, but the racing is very different to what Mika is used to, as are the tracks…
“It’s a bit different racing with trees just a metre from the track, as we don’t get that in Moto2. I think for the rally guys it’s normal but, for me, it’s something that takes a bit of getting used to. I’ve not crashed yet, although I came pretty close last time out, as you can see in the video!”
You can find out more about the Finnish Crosskart Challenge on the official website at www.fccnet.fi.