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31.7.2018 - Emil Lindholm had a smooth finish in WRC Rally Finland after lots of action

Flying Finn Emil Lindholm and his co-driver Mikael Korhonen entered WRC Rally Finland with cautions goals. However GTX-Team Skoda Fabia R5 drivers were dissapointed for the result they accomplished in their first-ever 4WD WRC-event; First on second stage a spin and then a puncture dropped the duo out from WRC2-podium. Then on next day Emil and Mikael rolled their car in the final corner of the Päijälä stage. However on final day they made good special stage times and finished the event in 11th position in WRC2 classifications.

The level of competitiveness in season 2018 edition of WRC Rally Finland was very high. Therefore Lindholm was set his goals for trouble-free run and to be in top-5 of WRC2 in overall classifications. However GRX-team drivers got the most miserable start for the rally as about one kilometre from the start of the stage Lindholm spun and his Skoda got jammed to the ditch.

- It was a small jump which turned left. I lost control of the car and couldn't react for the spin. Fortunately we end up in the ditch and it took nearly three minutes for the spectators to help us back to road, Lindholm tells.

- After that stage I had to concentrate my thoughts to think that the rally was just on its' starting stages and anything could happen. I didn't give up and therefore we continued on the same pace. However on 9th stage in about 700 metres from the start left rear tyre punctured on a straight section. We drove nearly 15 kilometres with flat tyre and that was the key moment that we lost all possibilities to catch leading drivers. Then in final stage of the day I hit a pole and lost one minute more, Lindholm continued.

After miserable first day it all went even worse

Second rally day of WRC Rally Finland got the worst possible start as Lindholm and Korhonen had a crash in slow final corner of the stage. As there were no spectators to help them back to road, Emil and Mikael had to retire the day.

- It was my own mistake as I braked a bit too late for the corner. Car slided out from the line and rolled into ditch in a very slow speed. I did expect another kind of Saturday, but it was what it was, Lindholm shared his deep feelings.

Good special stage times on Sunday

After miserable two days Lindholm and Korhonen continued rallying on Final day under rally2 -regulations. They made four excellent special stage times and finished the event with smooth driving. On final stages they were fourth, fifth and two times second fastest.

- Final rally day and its' four special stages went very well. After a bit cautions start we pushed really hard the final two stages but still we drove without any risks. Another Flying Finn Kalle Rovanperä was very fast again but then again he had a very good reason for it, Lindholm told.

Youngster brought GRX-team Skoda Fabia R5 to chequerred flag but not the way he had hoped it.

- The driving mistake in first rally day cost us too much of time. When adding two punctures and roll in Päijällä the result is like this. Even 11th position is a big dissapointment, I'm more dissapointed that in Saturday we retired on first stage and were unable to drive the most important special stages to gain experience for forthcoming events, Lindholm analyzes.

- What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. We gained lots of knowledge and experience from the season 2018 edition of WRC Rally Finland. Our race pace was on good level but we also know that we can finish the event without stupid mistakes like now I did. Unfortunately it didn't happen this time but it surely will happen in the future, Lindholm continued.

Next rally for Lindholm and Korhonen is to be driven at the end of August in region of Sastamala as penultimate round of the Finnish Rally Championship gets underway.

Final results WRC Rally Finland, overall classifications WRC2-group:
1. Eerik Pietarinen – Juhana Raitanen (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, 2:45:18,4
2. Jari Huttunen – Antti Linnaketo (FIN) Hyundai i20 R5, +1:06,8sec
3. Gus Greensmith – Craig Parry (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5, +1:28,1sec
11. Emil Lindholm – Markus Korhonen (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5 +1:00:34,0sec

Finnish Rally Championship UNOFFICIAL standings: 5/7 rounds: FRC-1 group:
1. Eerik Pietarinen 117 points
2. Teemu Asunmaa 73 points
3. Emil Lindholm 59 points
4. Marko Mänty 53 points
5. Nikolai Gryazin (LAT) 42 points
6. Juha Salo 36 points
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