Lindholm takes the lead of the Finnish Rally Championship-series with his third win of the season
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen drove to the victory of the second to last Finnish Rally Championship event in Kouvola. With the third number one placement of the season the Škoda drivers will start the last FRC event SM Pohjanmaa Rally, which will determine the Finnish Championship of the SM1- class, from the number one spot of the overall points.
The Finnish Rally Championship series will get an exciting final in three weeks in Seinäjoki. The goal of the Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen was to take a victory with TGS Worldwide Škoda from Kouvola and ensure a good starting position for the last and decisive competition of the Finnish Championship series.
In Kouvola, Lindholm led the rally from start to finish. With the cautious driving on the last special stage the difference to Teemu Asunmaa, who finished second, narrowed to 5.4 seconds. Mikko Heikkilä was third in the rally with the same time difference to Asunmaa.
“In the end it was a surprisingly tight win. The second run of the afternoon was challenging to drive as the first car. There was mud on the road and I had to draw my own driving lines there. I didn’t take any risks because the grip varied a lot; there were deep grooves, dry spots and then again slippery mud behind the next turn. On the last SS we lost 14.2 seconds but that was a conscious choice to drive carefully. The rally went as it should”, Lindholm smiled at the finish line.
In the half way of the rally Lindholm had clocked top times for each of the four special stages and led the competition with 15.8 seconds. Lindholm clocked the rally’s fifth top time on the second to last special stage SS6. Before the last special stage Lindholm led the rally by 19.2 seconds.
“Today was fun to drive. We drove a full and complete competition and we didn’t have a single tough situation. Our feeling was good the whole time. Our car also felt really good and I want to thank our team for that. Thanks also to all of our partners. We were aiming to win this rally and we did. I’m very happy with our performance. It is good to continue from here to the last competition of the season in three weeks in Seinäjoki.
The decisive last race of the Finnish Rally Championship series will be driven on the 25th-26th September in Seinäjoki. On the last rally of the season drivers will receive one and a half times the points. The overall points will consist of the four best rallies (4/5) which are added to the final points of the series.
Results: SM O.K. Auto-rally, Kouvola:
1. Emil Lindholm – Mikael Korhonen Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 48:13,8
2. Teemu Asunmaa – Jani Salo Škoda Fabia R5 Evo + 5,4
3. Mikko Heikkilä – Topi Luhtinen Škoda Fabia R5 Evo + 5,4
4. Juha Salo – Mikko Markkula Škoda Fabia R5 + 13,4
5. Juuso Metsälä – Matti Kangas Škoda Fabia R5 + 2:47,7
SM1-class unofficial points 4/5 competitions:
1. Emil Lindholm Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 95
2. Teemu Asunmaa Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 88
3. Mikko Heikkilä Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 37
4. Juuso Metsälä Škoda Fabia R5 37
5. Esa Ruotsalainen Škoda Fabia R5 36
Picture: Merita Mäkinen