Emil Lindholm: "We will continue where we left off in Estonia"
02 August 2023
Hyundai Motorsport N-team's Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen will start their home rally with confidence. "The car is getting more familiar by time and the preliminary tests were successful. We will confidently continue in Jyväskylä from where we left off in World Rally Championship Estonia," says Lindholm.
Hyundai Motorsport N-team's Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen will start their home rally carefully prepared. The duo, who made their first appearance with Huyndai i20 N Rally2 car in the World Rally Championship Estonia, intend to continue from where they left off under two weeks ago.
The duo is defending their WRC2 class win from last year’s Secto Rally Finland. A win from the gravel roads of Jyväskylä would be nice this year as well, but the goal is set to be on the podium.
- Of course, you always want to win, but our realistic goal is to drive to the podium again. Our new car is becoming more familiar to us by time. We also strive to improve our performance and thereby develop to be even better and faster.
- We’re not forcing ourselves to win this rally by any means necessary. Will our result be third place or even better? It remains to be seen. Our goal is to continue where we left off in World Rally Championship Estonia.
Lindholm and Hämäläinen will start their home rally with starting number 23 and starting position 13. Estonian and Finnish WRC rallies both have high-speed gravel roads, but that's where the similarities end. Lindholm, who drove the preparatory tests for WRC Secto Rally Finland last week, was a little surprised by how much the car's settings had to be changed between the two rallies.
- In the tests, we tried some ideas for our car that we were thinking in WRC Estonia. We accomplished some good things. The car’s settings are surprisingly different in Finland than in Estonia because the surface of the roads is very different.
- Our new car feels like it is a result of my own idea. We drove good tests and the car is good to drive, Lindholm sums up.
The WRC Finland’s rally route was renewed for this year. Compared to last year's route, more than half of the roads are new. Up to 27 percent of the roads are completely un-driven in the history of the World Rally Championship, organized in its current form.
- New roads have always been my strength. There are quite interesting special stages planned this year. This year we also get to drive the classic Myhinpää, and that's great. I'm already looking forward to getting on the route.
This year the 22 special stages of World Rally Championship Finland are total of 320.56 km. The total length of the route, including transition sections, is slightly more than 1470 kilometers. As in previous years, the rally's competition center and centralized maintenance area are located at the Jyväskylä Pavilion.
The WRC Secto Rally Finland starts with a ceremonial start at the harbor of Jyväskylä on Wednesday evening from 18:20. Shake down is driven on Thursday morning at 9:01 a.m. and in the evening it's the rally's opening special stage Harju 1 (3.48 km), which starts at 7:01 p.m.
Real action starts on Friday at 8:05 a.m. The route heading to the east of Jyväskylä has nine special stages with 108.24 special stage kilometers. The day includes, among other things, the classic special stage of Myhinpää (15.51 km), which is driven twice.
The rally continues Saturday at 8:05 and the route to Jämsä is the longest of the competition. There are eight special stages and a total of 160.68 special stage kilometers ahead. On Sunday, there are four more special stages (51.64 km) to be driven.
The final Power Stage special stage of the rally (at 1:15 p.m.) will be driven this year at Jämsä, Himos. The finish line of the rally is also located in the same area of Himos, and the top three contestants of the rally will get on the podium immediately after the finish line of the Power Stage.
WRC2-class World Championship points:
1. Yohan Rossel (F) Citroën 77
2. Andreas Mikkelsen (N) Škoda 69
3. Oliver Solberg (SWE) Škoda 64
4. Gus Greensmith (GB) Škoda 62
5. Emil Lindholm (FIN) Hyundai 59
6. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL) Škoda 55
In the 2023 season, Emil and Reeta will drive in the WRC 2 series.
*Not confirmed rally.