Finnish Rally Championship opener, Arctic Lapland rally’s winners Emil Lindholm, 22 and Mikael Korhonen, 33 are driving of WRC2-group’s points in Rally Sweden this upcoming weekend.
Rally Sweden is Lindholm’s careers second rally driven with a four-wheel drive car in World Rally Championship level. The Finnish pair starts with Team GRX’s Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to the route in starting position number 48. Their place on the upcoming starting list will be around 25th to 30th position.
“We left with good vibes to this competition. We have done notes to this rally once before but now we are actually starting this rally for the first time. I’m excitedly waiting for the upcoming competition because I like the character of the roads in Torsby area. Roads turn noticeably more than traditional Finnish roads but they are not slow to drive “.
“Road beds should be frozen so conditions at least on the first time driving them through should be good. On the second time there is going to be gravel and ruts but Michelin has again manufactured very good rally tyre for this year that is stable and durable on the ruts of the road”, Lindholm says.
Before Rally Sweden Lindholm drove one test day in Finland because the new FIA regulations don’t allow WRC2-group drivers to preliminary test their cars within three weeks prior to the rally in the country where the competition is held.
“Last year we were planning to have a test day in Sweden but we drove it in Finland. On that test we were mainly getting used to the studded snow tyres used in World Rally Championship competitions, the tipped metal spikes are one millimetre shorter than in snow tyres used in Finland”
“Our car is in a good shape. With Rally Sweden being a competition where you drive the special stages through twice you cannot win the rally driving full throttle the whole time. You need to know how to adjust your tyres and it’s important for us first timers to get experience of all the special stages of the rally. The most important thing would be to find the balance between speed and certainty. We have good notes and I believe in them”, Lindholm reminds.
The second World Rally Championship competition starts with Super Special Stage (1,9km) in Karlstad Thursday night at 21:08 UTC/GMC. On Friday the route crosses twice to Norway starting and finishing in Sweden with the middle section in its neighbouring country. On Friday’s programme there is seven special stages, distance combined to 131,47 kilometres.
On Saturday the rally is driven in Torsby area, on programme eight special stages, all together 126,18 kilometres. The Final day, Sunday’s programme three special stages, 51,31 kilometres. The winner of the rally will be announced around 14:00 UTC/GMC Sunday afternoon.
Text: Marko Mäkinen
Photo: Taneli Niinimäki