Lindholm for the second win of the season in Joensuu
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen drove to the season’s second win in Joensuu Itäralli. Lindholm and Korhonen couldn’t attend the previous SM-rally in Kouvola because of WRC Rally Sweden was held at the same time.
Lindholm was leading the rally’s overall competition until the last super special stage when Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta, driving Toyota Yaris WRC, overcame him with 0,8 second difference winning the overall competition.
“It was nice to drive to the finish line. It was snowing a lot from time to time and the roads were covered in snow. For us it is more important to win our own class and that’s why I didn’t want to risk our generous leading position. Afterwards thinking that the difference was only 0,8 seconds, maybe I should of pushed that much harder? I’m happy how we did; it is not a shame to lose by that little for a works WRC car. Great competition from us”, Lindholm said at the finish line.
Lindholm kept his cool in heavy snow avoiding mistakes.
“There was a lot of snow on the roads and after each car the road surface cleared a little. Maybe my front wheel drive experience was useful today. I was able to drive well in the snowy ruts”.
The winter season was successful for Lindholm; two wins from SM1-class in Finnish Championship Rally and second place in WRC2-class in Rally Sweden.
“I want to thank Team GRX, Printsport maintenance and Volkswagen for a fast and great car, Michelin for tyres that are reliable and have a great traction for these kind of circumstances”.
“I also want to say thank you for the organizers of Itäralli. The route was very nice and the SS2 was my careers best experience behind the wheel. That was an excellent rally route”, Lindholm smiled at the finish line.
The Finnish Rally Championship series is going for a two-month spring leave. The series will continue 24th-25th of May in Riihimäki Rally. During the season points are broken down into seven competitions. The series will finish up end of September for competition driven in Salo and Turku area.
FRC SM1-class final results; SM Itäralli, Joensuu:
1. Emil Lindholm – Mikael Korhonen Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 52:16,7
2. Juha Salo – Topi Luhtinen Skoda Fabia R5 + 50,8
3. Jari Ketomaa – Henri Arpiainen Ford Fiesta R5 + 54,7
4. Teemu Asunmaa – Jani Salo Skoda Fabia R5 + 49,4
FRC standings (SM1) 3/7 rallies:
1. Teemu Asunmaa 62
2. Emil Lindholm 59
3. Juha Salo 56
Photo: Taneli Niinimäki