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Emil Lindholm: “We will continue in Itäralli where we left off in Sweden”

28.02.2020 / Marko Mäkinen

Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen will start the final FRC-rally of the winter season in Joensuu from the second place of the championship standings. The Finnish duo, driving in SM1-class with TGS Worldwide’s Škoda, is looking to continue to be on the podium in Finnish Rally Legend Ari Vatanen´s home rally. 

This winter’s unseasonably warm weather melted most of the snow in the Joensuu area too, but luckily in the beginning of rally week temperatures dropped below freezing and the week continues with cold temperatures and light snow on the ground. 

Itäralli, driven in surroundings of the forested hills and the capital of the North Karelian Region Joensuu, offers five challenging special stages with overall length of almost hundred kilometres. 

“These weather conditions are this winters specialty and unfortunately familiar also from Rally Sweden. Good that the weather is below freezing so the roads will stay in good shape. A year ago a thick snow blizzard that started on the third special stage made the rest of the rally a Sunday drive. I hope we get to drive the last three special stages fast and in good conditions”, Lindholm says. 

Lindholm, starting the route with starting number three, tells that everything is ready for the upcoming weekend. 

“In Sweden on Friday’s special stages we had the best car in our class, thanks to TGS Worldwide. We are continuing where we left off in Sweden. In Joensuu the roads are slightly faster and we might make some adjustments on the stiffness of the chassis of our car, nothing else. We will get the best result when the driver also remembers to adjust himself and that’s what I’m planning to do”, Lindholm smiles. 

Lindholm tells they’re going after a full and complete performance from the Itäralli. 

“Winning Mikkeli patched up the little mishap from Arctic Lapland-rally so we can start Itäralli with calm minds. We will follow what Teemu (Asunmaa) is going to do. We don’t have to win unless Teemu is in the lead. In that case we will have to try and win the rally so we can beat him”. 

The last FRC-rally of the winter season starts from the market square of Joensuu on Saturday, leap day 29th of February at 10:01. In the days programme there is five special stages, total 98,1 kilometres. First competitors are expected on the finish line at Joensuu’s market square at 18:35. 

Standings SM1-class: 

1. Teemu Asunmaa Škoda Fabia R5 EVO 52 

2. Emil Lindholm Škoda Fabia R5 EVO 45 

3. Eerik Pietarinen Škoda Fabia R5 EVO 35

Picture: Skoda Motorsport

Score top 5

1. Teemu Asunmaa / Jani Salo 70 points Alavuden UA (R5)
2. Emil Lindholm / Mikael Korhonen 70 points NHD (R5)
3. Eerik Pietarinen / 35 points (R5)
4. Esa Ruotsalainen / Jukka Ruotsalainen 28 points SaarUA (R5)
5. Juuso Metsälä / Matti Kangas 27 points KeurUA (R5)

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Calendar 2020

1. Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi 16.-18.1.
2. SM Vaakuna-Ralli Mikkeli 7.-8.2.
3. SM Itäralli, Joensuu 28.-29.2.
4. SM O.K. Auto-ralli, Kouvola 4.-5.9.
5. Pohjanmaa SM-Ralli, Seinäjoki 25.-26.9.

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