When Tero Aarnio left the Newcastle Diamonds, he left as their top-averaged number one jacket and was right on the top of his game, but despite several years of racing behind him, he had failed for a number of frustrating and annoying reasons to win his own National Championship, that was until 2020.
Having had his hopes dashed in the past by ill-timed engine failures and falls, on Saturday in the Seinajoki venue in Routakallio, Finland, Aarnio triumphed and stood atop the rostrum to take his first coveted gold medal in the Finnish Championship ahead of Jesse Mustonen (second) and Timi Salonen (third) in a solid and determined effort that is highly familiar to all Newcastle Speedway fans.
The previous champ, Timo Lahti, was stuck in Poland racing in the Polish top division but Aarnio was hell-bent on taking Gold either way and started out as odds-on favourite. All the expected contenders flew through the opening heats, but Aarnio was unbeaten to go straight in to the Grand Final joined with Mustonen as the semi-final for the last two slots came to the tapes.
Antti Vuolas made the semi on 13 points along with Teemu Lahti on 11, but it was Lahti who won to make the final along with Salonen as Voulas took third over the fallen Niklas Sayrio.
Aarnio had to chase down opposition on a number of exciting occasions, passing in thrilling style from behind and really earned his long-awaited success in a superbly exciting final which saw Lahti disqualified for passing Salonen with too much vigour causing him to fall in a race not re-run awarding third to Salonen as second placed Mustonen and the winning Aarnio roared on to success to complete a fully unbeaten maximum round stamping his deserving authority on the title.