Tue 02 Aug 2022

Lindholm goes for local glory in WRC2

Emil Lindholm will battle it out with 17 WRC2 cars on home soil at this week’s Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August).

The Finnish driver tops a bumper entry list for this week’s Jyväskylä-based fixture in a Toksport-prepared Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and has his sights set on a maiden victory in the WRC’s premier support category. 

Lindholm finished third overall at the previous round in Estonia despite dropping time with a puncture on the opening day. 

He currently holds third in the WRC2 Junior standings and hopes to improve on last year’s Finland result, where he ended third in the RC2 class as well as winning WRC3. 

We were third out of all the Rally2 cars last year,” he told WRC.com. “I hope we should be able to build on that - that’s a reasonable expectation, I believe.

“We have to see. On this rally and with the pace these guys are driving at, it’s really about avoiding mistakes. If you have a problem like a puncture then you are immediately out of the game, so we need to work on being reliable,” he added.

With championship leader Andreas Mikkelsen absent and Jari Huttunen driving an M-Sport Ford Puma in the top category, Teemu Suninen will be one of Lindholm’s main rivals. The 28-year-old was denied a potential victory with late mechanical issues last time out and once again fields a Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

Egon Kaur returns in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 having shown impressive pace in Estonia, with local drivers Teemu Asunmaa and Mikko Heikkilä also likely to be in the mix with their pair of Fabia cars. Nikolay Gryazin - winner at Rally Italia Sardegna - joins Lindholm in the Toksport team. 

Eerik Pietarinen will be another one to watch in his Polo, as will Hyundai stalwart Hayden Paddon, who was forced into retirement by a positive Covid test in Estonia. Reigning FIA Junior WRC Champion Sami Pajari also makes his second WRC2 start in a Škoda.

Other entries include Polo youngster Georg Linnamäe as well as Miko Marczyk and Gaurav Gill in Fabia cars. Fabrizio Zaldivar and Josh McErlean will drive Hyundai machines, while Freddy Loix is the sole entrant in the WRC2 Masters Cup.

  • Full coverage from Secto Rally Finland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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