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Tue 09 May 2023

Education comes first for WRC2 star Lindholm

Defending WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm is not in action at this week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (11 - 14 May). Here’s why…

While Lindholm would like nothing more than to be behind the wheel of his Toksport Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 at the FIA World Rally Championship’s fifth round, instead he’ll be studying hard back home in his native Finland.

The 26-year-old, who studies finance, is giving the Matosinhos-based event a miss in order to concentrate on his education and hopes to return to action at Rally Italia Sardegna next month.

“The seminar for my master’s thesis is the same week,” he told WRC.com, “so I want to get that finally out of the way so that I can be back [rallying] again at 110 per cent.

“Well, there is managing, and then there is managing,” Lindholm joked when asked how he balances competition with studying. “I think, if you ask my school, they are maybe not too happy with the absences.

“Dad (six-time WRC stage winner Sebastian) has never forced me to study - but it’s just something I started, and I want to finish it.”

Lindholm currently holds second in the WRC2 standings, although he has started one more rally than most of his rivals so far this season. Podiums in Mexico and Croatia brought valuable points for him and co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen, although a 2023 victory has so far been elusive.

“Of course, everybody wants to win - but the level this year is also a step higher,” he said. “But let’s see. Sardinia won’t be an easy one, and unfortunately one of my favourite events - Spain - is not on the calendar this year.”

Trailer: Vodafone Rally de Portugal