news

Confident Lindholm will fight for the championship
28 September 2022
The SM1 class championship of the Finnish Rally Championship series will be resolved this coming Saturday in Kouvola. Team GRX’s Škoda driving duo, Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen, will go to the championship battle to open the route with confident minds.
 
 Emil Lindholm and Mikko Heikkilä, who both compete with Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, have the tightest grip on the Finnish championship in the SM1 class of the Finnish Rally Championship series. The situation between the two is that whichever of them wins the final round in Kouvola, will surely be the Finnish champion.
 
- Interesting and good setting. It's definitely going to be a tough weekend, but what could be better than that? The situation is clear: whoever of us wins this round is going to be the new champion and there is no need to count the points after that.
 
SM O.K. Auto rally will be held in Kouvola and its surrounding municipalities for the 19th time. The last time the rally was run was in the winter of 2021. Since then the route has been almost entirely renewed. There are only about 10 km of special stage kilometers left that were driven in past years and some of the kilometers of the current route are from 2011.
 
- New roads are a good thing for us. On the other hand, wherever we drive, the roads are usually new to Mikko (Heikkilä) too and he also drives very well from pace notes. Rain has been predicted in the area before the weekend. If the roads don't get muddy the rain is a good thing for the first car, as the water binds the loose sand to the road surface. On the other hand Mikko goes right after us so we are in a very similar position.
 
- The biggest change is the return from the slow WRC route (Greece) to the fast-paced route of the Finnish Championship rally. In Greece, we drove in places 12–15 and drove around rocks and potholes. Now we drive as the first car on the route with full throttle. But we drive according to what the roads ask for.
 
Lindholm says that in the preparatory tests for the rally they practically only made sure that everything was in order.
 
- In the tests we mostly got used to driving at the demanding speed of Finnish gravel roads. A year ago we were in the same situation and because that season ended well, the mood is pretty laid-back, says Lindholm.
 
The decisive championship round of the Finnish Rally Championship season starts on Saturday, October 1st at 9:01 a.m. from Tykkimäki racecircuit in Kouvola. A total of seven special stages are driven in the rally with total length of 98.02 km. During Saturday the competitors will visit the Tykkimäki racecircuit once for maintenance, starting at 12:29. The length of the service is 55 minutes.
 
- Early departure does not cause problems for us. In Greece, for example, we were on the route much earlier. I like early mornings and we will go to do our best. It's the easiest way for me to approach competitions, because I can't do more and therefore I can't aim for more either. You have to settle for your best and on Saturday we'll see where did it land us. I bet that the resolving events for the championship will be resolved in the last special stage of the rally, says Lindholm.
 
A total of four different special tests are driven in Kouvola, of which stages 2–3–4 are run twice. The longest special stageof the competition (25.50 km) is 4/7, which concludes the rally. The first competitors and the future Finnish Rally Championship medalists are expected at the finish line of the rally in front of Kouvola's Sokos Hotels Vaakuna on Saturday afternoon starting from 16:59.
 
SM1-class Finnish Championship standings 6/7 rounds:
1. Emil Lindholm Škoda 104
2. Mikko Heikkilä Škoda 96
3. Egon Kaur (EE) Volkswagen 85
4. Teemu Asunmaa Škoda 81
5. Aleksi Röyhkiö Volkswagen 58
6. Juha Salo Škoda 56

about

Emil Lindholm

DRIVER

Reeta Hämäläinen

CO-DRIVER

Calendar -22

  • 14-15
    Jan
    Arctic Lapland Rally
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 4-5
    Feb
    Auto Sorsa Riihimäki-Ralli
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 24-27
    Feb
    Rally Sweden
    WRC
  • 4-5
    Mar
    SM Ralli Kuopio
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 21-24
    Apr
    Croatia Rally
    WRC
  • 13-14
    May
    SM Länsirannikon Ralli
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 17-18
    Jun
    SM Pohjanmaa Ralli
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 14-17
    Jul
    Rally Estonia
    WRC
  • 04-07
    Aug
    Secto Rally Finland
    WRC
  • 26-27
    Aug
    SM Ralli Mikkeli
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 08-11
    Seb
    EKO Acropolis Rally Greece
    WRC
  • 30-01
    Oct
    SM Ralli Kouvola
    FINNISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
  • 20-23
    Oct
    RallyRACC
    WRC
  • 10-13
    Nov
    FORUM8 Rally Japan
    WRC

partners

Emil Lindholm

+358 500 441 917
emil.lindholm@sebateam.fi