Lindholm renewed his SM Itäralli victory in Joensuu
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen successfully defended their SM Itäralli victory in Joensuu. The Finnish duo, competing with TGS Worldwide’s Škoda, drove to the first place with 6,7 second difference to second place Teemu Asunmaa. Ireland’s Craig Breen placed third.
Lindholm’s second FRC-win of the winter season did not come easy. Teemu Asunmaa, who was leading the Finnish Championship series in points before Joensuu, challenged Lindholm from start to finish. After five special stages the difference between the two drivers were 6,7 seconds to the finish line.
“I had to push hard for the win. We drove the two first special stages very fast but with patience and that was enough for the fastest times. On the third special stage we had the same tactic but our speed wasn’t enough anymore. Teemu (Asunmaa) drove very fast so I had to put lot in to the fourth special stage, classic SS Oskola”, Lindholm explains.
“During that SS I felt like a daredevil with all the breathtaking spots the route had to offer. There were hills, jumps and the road turned in the crossings. This was a great win and goes to the Top-3 best Finnish rallies in my books. I am proud I was able to win this Finnish rally classic twice in a row”, Lindholm reminds.
In overall the winter season of 2020 went well for Lindholm. In three FRC-competitions and one WRC- competition Lindholm got two wins and a podium spot from each rally.
“We have been going forward with our speed and learned quite a deal this year. It was nice to notice that we were able to do well against WRC-level top driver, who was testing his car here. Of course when we are aiming to drive internationally, we should win all the Finnish national rallies”.
In Finnish Championship standings Lindholm and Korhonen rose to the first spot of SM1-class with their two wins in a row. Teemu Asunmaa is tied for second place with same amount of points.
“We are going into the summer season head-to-head from the same line. Now I just have to re-bait the hook”, Lindholm smiles.
After Joensuu Finnish Rally Championship series is going to a three and a half month spring break. Next time the battle of the FRC-points is being driven on 12th and 13th of June in Kouvola.
Overall results: SM Itäralli, Joensuu:
1.Emil Lindholm – Mikael Korhonen Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 46:41,0
2.Teemu Asunmaa – Jani Salo Škoda Fabia R5 Evo + 6,7
3.Craig Breen (IRL) – John Rowan (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 + 24,2
Unofficial overall standings SM1-class:
1.Emil Lindholm Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 70
2.Teemu Asunmaa Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 70
3.Eerik Pietarinen Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 35
Photo: Merita Mäkinen