Lindholm tenth in the European Championship opener in Italy
26 July 2020
Team GRX’s and TGS Worldwide Škoda’s Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen placed tenth on the FIA European Rally Championship’s opening competition in Rome, Italy. Citroën's Russian driver Alexei Lukyanuk drove to victory for the second time in his career.
The Rally di Roma Capitale, part of the European Rally Championship series, went according to plans for Emil Lindholm and Mikael Korhonen. The Finnish twosome, test drivers for the Indian tyre company MRF Tyres, drove this weekend's special stages without any mistakes. MRF Tyres received important data from the Roman tarmac roads that will help them to develop their next-generation rally tyres further.
Lindholm’s tenth place brought in seven European Championship points and a tenth place in the ERC standings.
“It is always nice to drive to the finish line without a single mistake. After all we were testing the tyres here, which was the purpose of this rally. We drove to the finish line without mistakes as planned. At this point we are not going to drive for top positions, that time comes later”, Lindholm reminded at the finish line.
“Information from the competitive situation is very important for the tyre manufacturer. They can compare their product directly to competitors under the same driving conditions. We only compared our own driving to our teammate (Craig) Breen. Even today, except for the first special stage of the morning, we drove at a very similar speed. That is a great thing for us”, Lindholm says.
Lindholm started the FIA European Rally Championship competition Rally di Roma Capitale, based on the results of the qualifying stage, as the fifth car. The opening day of the rally went according to the plan, except for the events in the first special stage. Andrea Crugnola, an Italian Citroën driver who started the first special stage in front of Lindholm, immediately crashed out and the special stage was suspended for more than an hour.
Lindholm barely got past the wrecked car but still drove to the finish of the special stage. According to the rally organizer, Lindholm would have been shown a red flag for an immediate stop in the situation, but neither of the drivers saw the flag. The jury decided to adjourn the case to Sunday night. After the opening day Lindholm was sitting in tenth place.
Lindholm and Korhonen’s next start will be, with TGS Worlwide’s Škoda together with MRF Tyres, FIA European Championship Rally’s second competition in Liepāja, Latvia. The rally will be driven in three weeks, the 14-16th of August, on gravel platform.
“We are going to have a more familiar surface for a Finnish driver. There should be fast gravel roads ahead of us. We are going to drive a one-day tyre test during the rally week in Latvia so we get a good feeling for the upcoming event”, Lindholm says.
Final Results: FIA ERC, Rally di Roma Capitale, Rome, Italy:
1. Aleksei Lukyanuk – Dmitri Eremeev (RUS) Citroën C3 R5 1:18:58.9
2. Giandomenico Basso – Lorenzo Granai (ITA) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 + 29.3
3. Oliver Solberg – Aaron Johnston (SWE/IRL) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 + 54.9
4. Craig Breen – Paul Nagle (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 + 1:15.5
10. Emil Lindholm - Mikael Korhonen (FIN) Škoda Fabia R5 Evo2 + 2:10.1