Škoda's Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen, who are third in the WRC2 class after two World Championship rounds, are aiming for an intact performance and a top three result from the WRC Croatia Rally. "Let's keep a good pace going and at the same time remember to have a little fun. In my opinion, the World Rally Championship Croatia is a great asphalt rally, says Lindholm.
Team GRX 's Emil Lindholm will compete on Croatian asphalt roads for the third time. In the previous years the results have been podium places; 2021 second in the WRC3 class and 2022 third in the WRC2 class. This year the goal is also set to be on the podium.
The Finnish duo competing with Toksport WRT's Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 drove a preparatory test for the rally on Sunday and everything is ready for the future. The weather forecast predicted rainy weather for the rally weekend late last week, but now it looks like the conditions will be turning out to be sunny.
- An interesting rally coming up. The roads here have a nice profile, and the surface is ok. If it rains during the rally, mud and dirt will rise to the road from cutting turns, which is the biggest problem and challenge of this round. The weather forecast now looks significantly better than before and in the best case we can drive the whole rally without rain.
- Of course, selecting the right tire is an important thing and an interesting part of this sport, especially in asphalt rallies. If you don't pull off the right selections, it's quite frustrating, Lindholm reminds.
Lindholm says that each of the three competition days of the World Rally Championship in Croatia is equally challenging.
- Except for Sunday's Power Stage, the rally is driven in similar road conditions from start to finish. The last special stage of the rally is the narrowest and steepest road to drive, and it also contains a lot of height differences.
- The performance of our new car on asphalt is a clear step forward. Škoda's new engine is an advantage for us. We can drive with bigger gears and the engine's good torque is an advantage. The larger wheelbase also brings calmness to the driving and that is a very positive thing.
Lindholm states that, like in the previous two years, the goal has been set to drive on the podium.
- That’s where we're trying to aim. Let's keep a good pace going and at the same time remember to have a little fun. In my opinion, the World Rally Championship Croatia is a great asphalt rally, says Lindholm.
In the fourth World Rally Championship round of the season, WRC Croatia Rally, 22 special stages with a total length of 301.26 kilometers will drive throughout the weekend. The rally starts on Friday at 9:03 (UTC+3). The day's program includes Stojdraga–Hartje (25.67 kilometers), which is the longest special stage of the rally and will be driven twice. A total of eight special stages with a total length of 130.18 kilometers will be run on Friday.
The rally continues Saturday with eight special stages, the total length of which is 116.60 kilometers. On the final day of the rally on Sunday, four more special stages (54.48 km) are scheduled, of which the final Zagorska Sela–Kumrovec (14.09 km) Power Stage starts at 14:15 (UTC+3)
1. Oliver Solberg Škoda (SWE) 43
2. Yohan Rossel (F) Citroën 28
3. Emil Lindholm Škoda (FIN) 28
4. Gus Greensmith Škoda (GB) 26
5. Nikolai Gryazin Škoda (ANA) 20