Lindholm presents new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in Finland
Last season SM1-group’s second place winner and Arctic Lapland Rally’s overall competition’s second place driver Emil Lindholm, 22, and his co-driver Mikael Korhonen, 33, are presenting Team GRX’s brand new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car in The Finnish Rally Championship 2019 season opener. Lindholm got to try his new car for the first time before Christmas and after that he has gotten more experience of it in two more test days.
“We weren’t supposed to have preliminary test in Rovaniemi, but the car is so new we decided to have an extra test day in the Arctic Circle. We haven’t been driving as much kilometres as usual on our test days but have been doing our work with more quality and efficiency. We have been going through details of the new car more specifically”.
Lindholm says Volkswagen Motorsport who built the car, tested Polo GTI R5 on its development stage for one week in winter conditions in Sweden.
“No one has an experience of our car’s transmission or suspension adjustments on the roads like Arctic Lapland Rally. For example finding the right height for the car is very challenging but a significant matter. This rally will show how we have succeeded in our adjustments”.
Lindholm is participating in The Arctic Lapland Rally for the fourth time. Last year the result was an excellent second place. Competing with a new and watched car brings lots of attention but doesn’t bring Lindholm any extra pressure.
“Our goal is to drive to the top positions regardless what car we are driving. Year ago we got good experience and drove fastest times on special stages, so why wouldn’t we be able to do that this year”.
“It’s great to see our own and other drivers speed for the first time with a new car. I’m waiting to start the rally with great interest. There isn’t as much snow on the route compared to previous years but there are lot of new things: special stages are driven in opposite directions and little bit differently than before. Only three special stages are identical to last year and that’s a very good thing. I’m sure we have good notes and we can drive fast”.
Lindholm start the rally starting number two, after F1 Mercedes-driver Valtteri Bottas, who is debuting in rally.
The Finnish Rally Championship 2019 opener Arctic Lapland rally’s overall length is 855.27 kilometres. The route includes 10 special stages, together overall 243.78 kilometres. The rally starts Friday 26th of January at 12:00 from Lordiaukio. On the first day programme there is five special stages. The cars will arrive to night break in Rovaniemi approximately at 21:00. The rally continues Saturday morning at 7:00. On the final day cars are competing in five special stages, overall 141.71 kilometres. First cars are expected to arrive Lordiaukio at 18:50 on Saturday evening.
Photo: Team GRX