Ismo Mäenpää: “To find the perfect set-up is the biggest challenge in Super Twin”
With four Finnish championships in Pro Harley at his credit, Ismo Mäenpää was ready for a new challenge. The Finn and his team found it in Super Twin. “At first we didn’t know what to do, but little by little and with help from other teams we learned, and are still learning every race.” Mäenpää ended the 2014 season with a new personal best at Tierp Arena and finished third in the EDRS Pro Nordic Super Twin Championship. “In 2015 we want to do even better and as always, go for personal bests”, Ismo says.
Ismo Mäenpää started his drag racing career in 1999 in Pro Harley and won four Finnish championships in that class. “There was no challenge anymore and in 2009 we bought this Super Twin bike from Mike Ferris. It was built by Bill Furr. We did not get any set-ups or data with the bike. We actually learned ourselves to adjust the bike. At first we did not know what to do, but little by little we learned. We got a lot of help, for example from Jaska Salakari, Lorenz Stäuble, Ton and Vincent Pels and many other teams too. As far as we can, we made and still make all update ourselves, together with our team and partners”, says the now 48-year old Ismo, who lives in Hämeenlinna and runs his own company in ground source heat drillings
Ismo is happy with how the things turned out in 2014. “It brought us many new things. Learning the basics of the new ignition and fuel system took time, but at the end of the season our hard work paid off with new personal bests. At Tierp Arena, my favourite track because the traction is always good there, we did a 6.87 seconds! That created confidence in the future and we look forward to the 2015 season. To find the perfect set-up for each track is the biggest challenge in Super Twin.”
Looking at what Rapamäki Racing Team did over the winter, there is a good reason to have that confidence. “We re-weighted the crankshaft and changed the weight percent. We made new exhaust pipes and made some changes to the frame. We also removed the gearbox, and because of that, there are some changes to gear ratio and clutch. And as the wheelbase grew, new longer wheeliebars are currently under construction. We also made new manifolds/throttle body and the frame has been extended with a new wider rim. In addition to these, some smaller changes have also been made. We will see how all these changes work out, but if they work, we hope to be able to go for the title, but at least do better than 6.87”, Ismo says, who calls ‘everyone in the lane next to him in eliminations’ his main rival. And that’s how it is when you want to win races. But he also adds that he “wishes all the drivers and teams a very successful 2015 season!” But don’t be surprised Ismo himself is the most successful one in 2015.
In his 2015 campaign Ismo will be supported by Sonic Tools, Carpino, Rasmix, Advertising V.Myllymäki, Jakola Transport AS and SPTR Oy.