18.1.2009 - Axel Lindholm started his Season 2009 in Rally of Orimattila

For Sebateam the Rally of Orimattila was a final preparation for first event of F-Cup rally serie. Axel Lindholm entered Orimattila with Honda Civic Type-R which Sebateam uses in F-Cup. Co-driver in the rally was Timo Jaakkola.

Conditions for a "winter rally" were a bit strange because there weren't no snow on the stage nor outside of them. However occasional ice spots forced us to rally with winter tyre and therefore the loss of spikes were major. Fortunately there were -10 degrees of temperature and therefore the rally was able to driven.

For Axel the Rally of Orimattila was an important event because for him it was a first rally among top drivers. Two previous seasons Axel had competed in junior groups. Therefore Axel started the event on his best-ever starting position (55). On the other hand the competition among top drivers is generally speaking very much tougher as in junior classes.

Axel starte the event with relatively secure and steady pace. He drove his groups' fastest special stage times for first and second stage. His Honda Civic Type-R rally car worked well as he was able to avoid any mistakes. Due superb performance Axel and Timo won their group before second Andreas Amberg and third Sami Sundell. Top-3 drivers rallyed with Honda Civic Type-R.

On overall classications Axel and Timo finished the rally in sixth position and in 2WD they were third fastest. Rally of Orimattila brought experience and secureness for Axel and therefore Sebateam feels very positive as they head towards first F-Cup event.

Axel thanks for Sebateam superb service team who after season 2008 final event made full service for teams' Honda Civic Type-R. Axel also sends best regards for his sponsors and partners.

8.2.2009 - Axel Lindholm in F-Cup season 2009 opener at Mäntsälä

The season 2009 F-Cup opener was rallyed In first saturday of February 2009 at the region of Mäntsälä. Top Finnish national 2WD drivers faced winterious stages with zero degrees of weather and light snow. Sebateam drivers Axel Lindholm and his co-driver Timo Hantunen started the rally as competitor pair of 30. During the rally team noticed it to be an advantage due clean stage and improved grip. On the other hand Axel had to drive in spoors because the grip outside of it was very bad.

Axel and Timo started the rally with unlucky feelings as on the first stage Axel tried a bit too much and entered the corners a bit too fast pace. Therefore in first stage Axel suffered one spin and in third stage one off. Lots of valuable competition time were lost in those insidents. On second, fourth and fifth stage Axel did faultless and trouble-free performance but those times weren't good enough to keep Sebateam in top positions. After the rally Axel Lindholm and Timo Hantunen could be found at 29th position. They drove the stages one minute and 29,9 seconds slower than winner Timo Jaakonsaari.

- Obviously I'm not satisfied for the overall classifications. However after all mistakes I made I'm satisfied to see the chequed flag, told Axel.

Final results, Kiinteistömaailma F-Cup, Mäntsälä, class 2, top-5:
1. Timo Jaakonsaari & Risto Pasanen, VW 19 Golf GTI 16V, 39:41,3
2. Tero Salminen & Pasi Törmä, Volvo 240, +04,5sec
3. Olli Lavikainen & Joni Kohtaniemi, Volvo 240, +05,5sec
4. Mikko Kauppinen & Jani Salo, BMW M3, +25,0sec
5. Matti Nikander & Mikko Kukkonen, BMW M3, +30,0sec
29. Axel Lindholm & Timo Hantunen, Honda Civic Type-R, +1.29,9sec

F-Cup championship standings after 1/6 events:
1. Joonas Kolehmainen, Toyota Starlet, 42 points
2. Timo Jaakonsaari, VW 19 Golf GTI 16V, 40 points
3. Henri Hakonen, Toyota Starlet, 35 points
x. Axel Lindholm, Honda Civic Type-R, 0 points

21.2.2009 - Traditional Hankirally was successful for Sebateam

The legendary snow rally of Southern Finland was driven on third Saturday of February. Hankirally is a speciality among rally events because its' one of the rallyes which are driven near capital of Finland. The event was driven in excellent conditions as the stages were in full ice. However lack of snow was a trouble for rally drivers because there wasn't any snowbanks to turn to. Wonderful winterish weather lured lots of specators to follow the event.

Hankirally was included only 20 special stage kilometres and for the drivers it meant not to suffer any driving mistake at all. The rally included four special stages which were relatively fast paced without any surprise action corners. Speeds were so high that it gave rallying a true challenge.

Axel Lindholm started rallying very well as from the first stage on he was in good speed. As the journey went towards Finish line Axel was able to push his speed a bit more. At the finish Sebateam noticed that they had kept fastest pace in their group and fifth fastest in overall classifcations.

- This truly was a good result for us. In previous rally I made too much of driving mistakes and therefore I really needed to have this excellent result. On next Saturday drivers measure their speed in scond round of F-Cup rally series. We head for the rally with lots of motivation and self-confidence, told Axel Lindolm.

28.2.2009 - Offroad action ruined Axel Lindholm hopes of success in Volkswagen rally

Second round of F-Cup was driven in the region of Sastamala in a wonderful winter rally weather. The rally gathered approximately 230 teams to measure their skills in 80 special stage kilometres. In season 2009 F-Cup has grown into worlds largest rally serie as its' very popular among Finnish rally drivers. In the series there are lots of different 2WD rally cars and lots of people spectating the sport. Volkswagen rally wasn't an exception.

Rally fans could see lots of rally action in all five special stages. The stages included all kinds of road types with lots of blind crests, jumps and tricky corners. All drivers including Sebateam Axel Lindholm enjoyed the route and its' 66 special stage kilometres.

Sebateam set goals for clear and faultless drive. However Axel and his co-driver weren't unable to do so because in fourth stage Axel made a small driving mistake which caused diving into snowbanks and getting stuck into it. Lindholm lost lots of valuable time when trying to get back into the stage. Ofcourse when Axel got things going again he had no rush because one single driving mistake during the hard competition rally ruined the possibilities for success. However when Axel could get back into stage and continue rallying, he desided to focus his thougts for continue learning and avoiding mistakes. In the off Sebateam car didn't suffer any damage but Axel lost his touch and in fifth stage Sebateam drivers found themselves in the snow banks again. This time the car went so deep into ditch that it took lots of time and people to get back to stage. Axel was very dissapointed due his tricky moments.

This time the Volkswagen rally was not successful for Sebateam. However on the other hand it is very vital to find positive things when things does not go right. Start of the rally wasn't as bad as two final stages were. Right from the first stage on Axel found good rhythm and feeling for the car which was easy to drive. At the final section of the first stage Lindholm lost time due cautious driving style.

In second and in third stage Sebateam finished the stages in 8th positions. When starting the fourth stage Axel was in 15th position in overcall classifications before having too offs and retirement.

In next two weeks Axel tries to analyze the mistakes and learn from them. Final winter round of F-Cup series is to be rallied at March 14th in Jyväskylä.

Overall classifications Volkswagen F-Cup, Sastamala
1. Jukka Korhonen & Matti Pitkänen, Toyota Corolla GT, 40:37,6
2. Joonas Kolehmainen & Noora Saarinen, +3,0sec
3. Olli Lavikainen & Joni Kohtaniemi, Volvo 240, +17,9sec
retirement. Axel Lindholm, Honda Civic Type-R, offroad

15.3.2009 - Transmission failure finished Axel Lindholm winter season

Sebateam driver Axel Lindholm and his co-driver Timo Hantunen entered into final winter round with high hopes. Legendary special stages of Jyväskylä and its' over 100 special stage kilometres awaited drivers as they drove their third and final winter round in F-Cup series.

During the winter season Axel Lindholm suffered driving mistakes and therefore his goal was set for trouble-free run in partly WRC Finland special stages.

Unfortunately Sebateam was forced to retire the event at second special stage due transmission failure. Rear intervention of teams' Honda Civic Type-R was blown into pieces and it was game over. In first special stage Axel drove seventh fastest special stage time and was about to have a full attack before technical failure. At the point of retirement Axel was 5,4 seconds slower than winner Jukka Korhonen.

- Yes it was very unfortunate to have a technical retirement. Only thing I can do now is just to begin waiting for gravel rallyes to start in the middle of May, told dissapointed Lindholm.

Rally of Jyväskylä final results:
1. Jukka Korhonen & Matti Pitkänen, Toyota Corolla GT, 1:01:31,9
2. Jere Rekola & Jyrki Salonius, Mercedes 190 2,3, +0,4sec
3. Jouko Karhumäki & Juha Pöllönen, VW Golf GTI 16V 2.0, +29,4sec
retirement. Axel Lindholm, Honda Civic Type-R, transmission failure

17.5.2009 - Axel Lindholm opened his gravel season in Uusikaupunki F-Cup

Weather in the region of Uusikaupunki was the best ever - Sun was shining and it kept the drivers as the spectators very warm. In Rally of Uusikaupunki the route has always been very good and demanding. Very un-natural and twisty stages gave lots of challenge for the drivers.

For Sebateam the rally didn't go as planned as I once again suffered too many driving mistakes. F-Cup rally series is known for its' high level of competitiveness and therefore driver cannot make not even for a single mistake if he wants to finish the event with good position. Sebateam driver Axel Lindholm managed to make one fastest special stage time in the rally, which was also his first-ever fastest special stage performance. However Axel suffered driving mistakes which caused him to loose 2 minutes and 14,5 seconds for the winner Mika Rantasalo. After colorful events Lindholm was 26th in overall classifications.

Axel gives lots of regards for his service team who fixed the car after Lindholm had damaged it in 4th stage off. For Axel his gravel season continues on May 23th in Rally of Teijo Talot which is going the be driven in the region of Salo.

Final results, F-Cup Rally of Uusikaupunki
1. Mika Rantasalo & Sami Peltola, Opel Kadett E GSi 16v, 41:19,9
2. Jere Rekola & Jyrki Salonius, Mercedes 190 2,3, +2,9sec
3. Olli Lavikainen & Mikael Korhonen, Volvo 240, +12,0sec
26. Axel Lindholm & Timo Jaakkola, Honda Civic Type-R, +2:14,5sec

23.5.2009 - Sebateam took victory in Teijo-Talot rally

Second gravel round for Sebateam was driven in fourth Saturday in the region of Salo. Sebateam driver Axel Lindholm and his co-driver Timo Jaakkola headed for six special stages and its' 67 special stage kilomtres as a competition number 143 due lots of Historic Rally Cars.

Rally day was a bit rainy and it created lots of spoors for the stages. Especially fourth stage was in very bad shape as lots of rocks had dug up to the spoors.

Due rough conditions Axel Lindholm suffered a puncture. However Sebateam was very fortunate because the puncture happened at the end of the stage and team avoid time loss. In transit section Axel and Timo changed the tyre and kept heading towards next stage.

It was a tight competition event which in final special stage was eventually turned to Sebateam side. Axel drove his season 2009 best result by winning his group and finishing the event as 4th fastest rally driver in overall classifications. The rally was won by Jarmo Mikkonen with 4WD and turbocharged Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rally car.

Next event for Axel Lindholm is going to be Finnish Rally Championship gravel season opener which is going to be driven in second weekend of June in the region of Valkeakoski. Co-driver for Axel will be famous and highly experienced Timo Hantunen.

Lopputulokset Teijo-Talo ralli
, Salo: Luokka 16, top-2:
1 Axel Lindholm & Timo Jaakkola, Honda Civic Type-R, 40:24,3
2. Ville-Pekka Vaara & Roope Viitanen, Honda Civic Type R, +38,2sek

8.6.2009 - Axel Lindholm suffered a retirement in Maxell Iltarally

In first weekend of June a Maxell Iltarally was driven in the region of Nummela, Southern Finland. Iltaralli means a rally which is driven in evening. Therefore the drivers headed for the stages approximately five o'clock in the evening and finished the event in approx 22 o'clock. Route of the rally included seven special stages and approximately 60 special stage kilometres.

Right from the first meters on the competition was very fierce and intense. After 4th stage Sebateam drivers Axel Lindholm and Timo Jaakkola were leading their group and in 5th position in overall classifications. After the service drivers tackled 5th stage which was 13 special stage kilometres. Due superb performance Lindholm took third position in overall classifications.

However in 6th stage Sebateam was forced to retire as in approximately half way of the stage there were a crest and tightening right. Lindholm entered the corner way too fast and slided off road and it was game over. Fortunately in the off teams' Honda Civic Type-R rally car suffered only minor damages.

Final results Maxell iltarally, class 7:
1. Antti Aaltonen & Joni Koponen, Honda Civic Type-R, 30:49,1
2. Lasse Laine & Jouni Laine, Honda Integra Type-R, +1:24,4sek
retirement. Axel Lindholm & Timo Jaakkola, Honda Civic Type-R, offroad

3.8.2009 - Axel Lindholm gained lots of experience from Rally Finland - Damper failure dropped young rally driver from podium

Young Flying Finn Axel Lindholm made his debut in World Rally Championship in gravel Grand Prix Rally Finland. Lindholm with his highly experienced co-driver Timo Hantunen drove in the event with Honda Civic Type-R rally car and gained lots of highly valuable experience from international world of rallying. However Lindholm lost podium position in Saturdays damper failure.

In Sunday Sebateam driver continued rallying by SuperRallyRule. Lindholm drove the stages without any mistakes and finished the rally as seventh fastest driver in N3-class. Without the Saturdays retirement Lindholm would have been fighting for highest podium position.

– First of all I must thank for my co-driver Timo Hantunen, who drove his 31st Rally Finland. His experience in recce aswell as in the gave me lots of new things. This I noticed especially when we drove the rollercoaster stages thru with rally speed, Lindholm tells.

– I'm satisfied for Friday and Sunday special stage results. In Saturday I was in second position fighting for highest podium position when one damper broke up and we were forced to retire the event. After 25 minutes of time penalty we continued rallying on Sunday but we had lost the fight for the podium. Even the rally was two-sided for us it was very taughtfull and gave lots of experience I needed, Lindholm continued.

Big hand for service crew, sponsors and partners

Rallying is more than just measuring speed on the stages. There are lots of parts which has an effect to the final result. Every team member from the drivers to the service crew and sponsors are very valuable and dependable to the result. Axel Lindholm wants the give big regards to Sebateam personnel aswell as his sponsors and partners for superb support.

– After first rally day our service crew changed damaged gearbox using only 22 minutes for it. This was a very good demostration of the expertice our team members has. I also would like to say huge thanks for my sponsors and partners. Without their support I couldn't drove my first-ever World Rally event, Lindholm says.

15.8.2009 - F-Cup in Pori proved its' demandness for Axel Lindholm

In third Satuday of August Flying Finn Axel Lindholm and his co-driver Timo Jaakkola measured their speed in a Autoluojus Rally which was driven in the region of Pori. The rally included five special stages and approximately 60 special stage kilometres. During the rally the weather was very good - sunny and warm.

For Axel Lindholm the rally was difficult. Stages in eastern Finland are always very fast and tricky. In Pori the drivers drove in various kind of stages. Lindholm started his rally by driving a junction straight and losing lots of time in that insident. After that driving mistake Axel couldn't reach his driving level and lost the speed for top drivers. At the finish line Sebateam drivers were in 13th position in overall classifications and in 9th position in their group.

Next event for Axel Lindholm and final F-Cup round is to be driven in Heinola at September 9th.