Lindholm: ”A place in the podium is a good goal for us"
16 March 2023
Team GRX’s first timers in Rally México, Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen, will go after World Rally Championship points in the gravel roads of WRC Guanajuato Rally México, this upcoming weekend. The two are aiming to be in the top three after the hot and dusty ordeal.
After a two-year sabbatical, the World Rally Championship round Guanajuato Rally México will be held in León, which is located 400 km northwest of Mexico City - the country's capital. The last time a World Championship round was held in León was in March 2020 and then the rally was forced to be cancelled before the last day of competition due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen are competing in México for the first time. The rally was selected for the WRC2 class’ reigning champions driving program because the rally will continue to be a part of the series' calendar. Therefore it is good to gain experience from it for the future.
Competing in Toksport WRT's Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, the duo drove the pre-rally tests last weekend in León and everything is in order for the upcoming event.
- The tests and shakedown went well. We are driving the previous generation Fabia Rally2 Evo here, which basically already had good settings. We only had to do small fine-tuning.
- The reason we don't drive the new RS Rally2 car in Mexico is largely due to logistical reasons. The team already had two cars of the previous generation going to México, and if we had wanted to drive a new car, it would have had to be flown there separately with spare parts. Our teammate and us are driving the previous generation Škoda, which was transported to México by sea from last year's World Rally Championship Japan, says Lindholm.
Next weekend, the rally route will go around the mountains of Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato in thin air at an altitude of up to 2.7 km above sea level.
- The pace notes are done. The route has roads that vary a lot. There’s nice, fast and wide roads in a good condition and after that narrow roads in bad condition like in Greece. Then a shakedown and two street stages driven in a city late in the evening.
- Basically, we are trying to drive a good rally. I’m aiming to drive my own best once again and a place in the podium would be a good goal for us. Let's see how the rally starts and act according to that, Lindholm plans.
The WRC Guanajuato Rally México’s route is one of the most compact in the World Rally Championship series. The rally features 23 special stages with a total length of 315.69 km. The total length of the route is only 969.62 km. The rally starts on the night between Thursday and Friday at 4:05 (UTC+2) with two (1.12 km) street stages. The competition continues on Friday at 15:48 (UTC+2). A total of eight special stages (123.60 km) will be run during the day, the last of which is at 2:16 (UTC+2).
Saturday's program includes nine special stages (128.32 km) and four (61.53 km) on Sunday. The final Power Stage special stage (9.59 km) of the rally starts on Sunday evening at 20:18 (UTC+2).
In the 2023 season, Emil and Reeta will drive in the WRC 2 series.
*Not confirmed rally.