Lindholm to drive in Arctic Circle for a second time this season - now WRC-points in his mind
23 February 2021
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen will start the historic first WRC winter rally driven in Finland with confident minds. The duo, driving team TGS Worldwide’s Škoda Fabia R5 Evo, will travel to the Arctic Circle this time to fight for the WRC3-class World Rally Championship points instead of Finnish Rally Championship points.
”It was disappointing that last year the WRC Rally Finland in Jyväskylä could not be organized. The Rovaniemi WRC event will make up for that loss a little bit. I hope this year we will be able to drive two WRC events in Finland as planned”, Lindholm says.
Lindholm admits that the location, which is familiar from the Finnish Rally Championship series, gives Finnish drivers a little home field advantage in the national series.
”It's a bit strange to go back and drive the first two rallies of this season in the same place. The area is familiar, although the route is driven differently than in the Finnish Rally Championship event, but I believe that compared to foreign competitors us Finns have an advantage. I would assume that the hardest competition in the WRC3 class is between us domestic drivers”.
Lindholm prepared for the upcoming event by driving successful tests last week, which were focused on studded winter tyres used especially in the World Championship series.
”The WRC tyre is more durable but at the same time it has 2mm shorter studs than the ones used in FRC-series. The tyre doesn’t grip the ice as well as the longer studs. The roads will have grooves after driving them twice, so we need durability from the studs. In the snow, you have to drive more carefully with the WRC tyre”, Lindholm reminds.
Lindholm states that their goal is not to compete against WRC2 drivers but to drive the best possible result from WRC3.
“I need WRC points for the future. Our goal this year is to drive also other WRC events than the ones in Finland. All points are therefore important. A year ago, I drove two WRC events, from which we got a good result and finished fifth in points. Succeeding in the WRC3 class is therefore our main goal”.
“If this year we can drive a few rallies more than last year, at the same time we will have the opportunity to compete for the top spots. My top goal for this year is to drive to the place of the WRC2 class for next year and move forward with my driving career”, Lindholm reminds.
According to Lindholm, Arctic Rally Finland's route is fast and demanding.
“Immediately from the first special stage you have to be really fast. We have more tyres available, so there is no need to save them. Opening special stage of the rally, Sarriojärvi, is a challenging special stage and immediately one of the special stages that can determine the competition. You need to be awake there” Lindholm smiles.
The authorities have required special arrangements from the rally organizer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why the historic first Arctic Rally Finland is driven without an audience. The decision is based on measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The total length of Arctic Rally Finland, the second event of the World Rally Championship season, is 856.05km. The route includes ten special stages with a total length of 251.08 km. The rally will start on Friday 26th of February at 13:30 in Rovaniemi. In the program of the first day of the rally is special stage Sarriojärvi (31.05 km), which is driven twice. For the night break in Rovaniemi, the first cars will arrive after 20:00 in the evening.
The rally continues on Saturday morning. The program has six special stages with a total length of 144.04 km. On the closing day of the rally, Sunday, special stage Aittajärvi (22.47 km) will be driven twice. In the second time the special stage will be run as a Power Stage, from which additional points will also be awarded to WRC3-class drivers