Markus Niemelä

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Markus Niemelä
Nationality Finland Finnish
Born (1984-03-20) March 20, 1984 (age 30)
2014 Atlantic Championship
Debut season 2008
Current team Jensen MotorSport
Car no. 1
Former teams Brooks Associates
Newman Wachs Racing
Starts 24
Wins 2
Poles 1
Fastest laps 0
Best finish 1st in 2008 Atlantic Championship season
Championship titles
1998
2002
2004
2004
2004
2008
Finland Junior Champion
Formula A Finland Champion
Formula Ford STCC Champion
Formula Ford Sweden Champion
Formula Ford Finland Champion
Champ Car Atlantic Champion

Markus Niemelä (born 20 March 1984 in Rauma) is a Finnish race car driver, currently in the Atlantic Championship series in North America. He is the 2008 series champion after winning the final round at Road Atlanta. His international racing career has been volatile due to a number of injuries he has sustained during his career.

Career[edit]

Karting[edit]

In 1998, Niemelä won the Finnish junior karting championship with maximum points. In 2001, injury of left arm in a snowboarding accident before the start of season prevented participation in the Formula A European/World Championship. He won the one race where he participated, driving practically one-handed against top Finnish karters (ICA).

The following year, Niemelä was the Finnish champion in Formula A. He set the fastest laptime in at least one heat of every European Championship round. He also qualified in World Cup final but technical problems caused a retirement in pre-final and final. In 2003, because of an accident in a European championship race, Niemelä could not drive for three months. He returned for the World Championships to finish fifth.

Single-seaters[edit]

2004[edit]

Markus became the Finnish and Swedish Champion and the winner of STCC Formula Ford championship. Led Scandinavian Championship before the last round but finished 2nd overall because did not participate on the last round. Nominated as a ”Young Champion” by Finnish ASN. Tested for Formula BMW and was fastest at several unofficial tests.

2005[edit]

Markus finished 7th in championship points with one victory and one pole position. Many crashes resulting to damaged car during the season (12 out of 20 races). He was also 5th in UK Formula Renault Winter Championship, 3rd best qualifier of the championship (3rd, 4th, 9th and 3rd in qualifyings). Markus drove Formula Renault first time ever in free practice of first race meeting.

2006[edit]

One victory, fastest lap and pole position. Multiple Driver Of The Day Awards - awarded by Renault Sport. Markus finished 7th in the final standings with best positions 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2x4th.

2007[edit]

In Formula Renault Eurocup, he did 6 starts with best result of second at Hungaroring, while in the Asian series, he did 4 starts with 2 wins and one second place. His 3rd win of the 4 races was later penalized from jumping the start. He joined BCN Competicion in the GP2 Series to replace Sakon Yamamoto who moved to F1 during the season. During his first race, also at the Hungaroring, he was forced to retire when his left shoulder unexpectedly dislocated after 11 laps, which also prevented him from taking part in the second race of the meeting.[1]

2008[edit]

In the 2008 season, Niemelä won the Atlantic Championship with Brooks Associates team, after winning the last two rounds of the season.

2009[edit]

Niemelä returned to the series to defend his Atlantic Championship title, this time driving for Newman Wachs Racing. He strugged through the first five races failing to score a podium finish. He switched teams to Jensen MotorSport for the remainder of the season, but failed to find any more success and finished 6th in points.

2010[edit]

Niemelä started racing Sprint Cars on dirt ovals. The best result of his depute season was 2nd in a VRA race at Ventura Raceway.

2011[edit]

Niemelä raced in selected races in different Sprint Car Championships (USAC West Coast, USAC CRA, VRA, USAC Midget) with an average A Main finish of 4.5 over the season. He also scored his first Sprint Car win.

2012[edit]

Currently (September 5, 2012) Niemelä is 2nd in the points standings in the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series with 2 more races to go.

Racing record[edit]

Formula Renault UK record[edit]

Season Team Name Poles Wins Final Placing
2006 Mark Burdett Motorsport 1 1 7th

Complete GP2 Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 DC Points
2007 BCN Competición BHR
FEA
BHR
SPR
ESP
FEA
ESP
SPR
MON
FEA
FRA
FEA
FRA
SPR
GBR
FEA
GBR
SPR
EUR
FEA
EUR
SPR
HUN
FEA

Ret
HUN
SPR

DNS
TUR
FEA

TUR
SPR

ITA
FEA

9
ITA
SPR

11
BEL
FEA

11
BEL
SPR

Ret
VAL
FEA

14
VAL
SPR

Ret
31st 0

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Atlantic Championship[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2008 Brooks Associates Racing United States
LBH
7
United States
LS
4
Canada
MTT
2
Canada
EDM1
2
Canada
EDM2
6
United States
ROA1
6
United States
ROA2
6
Canada
TRR
Ret
United States
NJ
2
United States
UTA
1
United States
ATL
1
1st 245
2009 Newman Wachs Racing United States
SEB
Ret
United States
UTA
Ret
United States
NJ1
4
United States
NJ2
4
6th 98
Jensen MotorSport United States
LIM
9
United States
ACC1
Ret
United States
ACC2
6
United States
MDO
4
Canada
TRR
5
Canada
MOS
5
United States
ATL
5
United States
LS
5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradley, Charles (August 2007). "GP2's new faces suffer on debuts". Autosport 189 (6): p.15. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Raphael Matos
Formula Atlantic Champion
2008
Succeeded by
John Edwards