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Fri 09 Sep 2022

Lindholm builds buffer in WRC2

Škoda Fabia Rally2 star Emil Lindholm’s faultless drive in Friday’s opening leg earned the Finn a healthy lead in WRC2 at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

The Finn is contesting his second Acropolis and he immediately put last year’s knowledge to good use - romping to a series of fastest times on the rugged gravel roads north of Athens. 

On the stages, Lindholm and Toksport team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen were closely matched. However, defending champion Mikkelsen was forced to retire on Thursday evening when a collision in the super special stage damaged his steering and he languishes almost 10 minutes back as a result. 

A cut above the remaining field Lindholm arrived back to service in Lamia 30.5sec clear of Nikolay Gryazin’s similar car, while Teemu Suninen filled the final podium spot 5.6sec behind in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2. 

Victory here could move Lindholm onto the championship podium and he also remains on course to retake the lead in the WRC2 Junior series.

Mikkelsen’s trauma was good news for title rival Yohan Rossel, who currently sits second in the points. Lingering dust cost the Frenchman time in the opening stage and he eventually brought his Citroën C3 Rally2 home 20.8sec back from the podium.

Eyvind Brynildsen was lucky to even start the rally after his Toksport squad carried out a complete re-shell on Thursday morning. That perseverance paid off, however, as the Fabia man ended fifth - 7.6sec ahead of Georg Linnamäe’s Volkswagen Polo. 

• Full coverage from EKO Acropolis Rally Greece 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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