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Lindholm starts The Finnish Rally Championship title decider from number one spot

24.09.2020 / Marko Mäkinen

Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen will go after their first SM1-class Finnish Championship title of their careers next weekend. The duo driving TGS Worldwide’s Škoda will start the championship-deciding SM Pohjanmaa Rally in Seinäjoki from the top spot of overall points. 

The exciting SM1-class final of the FRC-series does not bother Emil Lindholm’s good night sleep - on the contrary. Behind the twosome is a one-day test that reminded them what it is to drive mostly in the dark. The first day of the rally and its three special stages are going to be driven entirely in the darkness of the autumn evening. 

“We are happy to start driving towards the championship title. This one rally culminates the entire season. We will finally be able to drive concretely from the goal we set at the beginning of the season”, Lindholm says. 

“When driving in the dark it is good to practise a little in advance so the eyes will get used to driving with extra lights. It helps us find the braking spots of the road better. Finding the right braking spots is one of the biggest challenges of the upcoming rally. Our car is in great condition”, Lindholm says. 

Lindholm thinks winning the rally is going to be a tight competition to the end. 

“I think we have chances to do anything we put our minds in to as long as we do very precise pace notes. That can resolve a lot especially when driving in the dark. We are going to this weekend with confident minds”. 

The championship will be battled against the reigning champion of the class, Škoda´s Teemu Asunmaa, who will end his Finnish Championship season with a home rally. 

“Each of us lives somewhere in Finland. It does not affect our preparation. Last year we were driving in a good speed at this same rally. We were suffering from minor problems at the time but our speed was at a good level. The profile of the upcoming rally route is good. Roads are pretty clear to get on a pace note and are nice to drive. We have a good feeling about this”, Lindholm reminds us. 

The name of the game, in terms of The Championship, is that whoever wins this final rally’s overall competition is a sure champion. On the last rally of the season one and a half times the points will be awarded. 

“If Teemu does not win we can still be champions if we place on a third spot. It is kind of useless to calculate these things in advance. We are going to fight for the win”, Lindholm reminds. 

The last competition of the Finnish Rally Championship series will start next Friday in front of Hotel Sorsapesä in Seinäjoki starting at 19:01. The evening’s program includes three special stages with a total length of 38.68 km. The rally will continue on Saturday from 10:01. The program for the day has a total of six special stages, two of which are driven twice. Saturday's special stages will cover a total of 65.30 km. The winners are expected to The Finish line of the rally at Hotel Sorsanpesä on Saturday evening starting at 17:37. 

SM1-class standings 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

Score top 5

1. Emil Lindholm / Reeta Hämäläinen 119 points NHD (R5)
2. Mikko Heikkilä / Topi Luhtinen 106 points MäntsMK (R5)
3. Teemu Asunmaa / Marko Salminen 104 points Alavuden UA (R5)
4. Juha Salo / Mikko Markkula 76 points Karkkilan UA (R5)
5. Riku Tahko / Markus Soininen 53 points PoSUA (R5)

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Calendar 2021

1) 15.-16.1. Arctic Lapland Rally, Rovaniemi
2) 5.-6.3. SM O.K. Auto-ralli, Kouvola
3) 28.-29.5. SM Länsirannikon ralli, Varsinais-Suomi
4) 18.-19.6. SM Pohjanmaa Ralli, Seinäjoki
5) 13.-14.8. Top Building Ralli, Lahti
6) 25.-26.9. SM KokUA 60-v Juhlaralli, Kokkola

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