Tue 01 Aug 2023

Hyundai’s Lindholm aims for “improvement” in Finland

Home hero Emil Lindholm starts this week’s Secto Rally Finland (3 - 6 August) in search of his first WRC2 victory of the season on what will be his second outing with Hyundai Motorsport.

Lindhom and co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen secured last year’s WRC2 title but have since been unable to replicate that winning form. Nevertheless, the Finnish duo have scored podium finishes in three of their four starts so far this season.

Debuting a factory-supported Hyundai i20 N Rally2 for the first time last month in Estonia, Lindholm finished a respectable third of the premier support category runners. While he’d love to go even better on the similarly fast roads around Jyväskylä, he’s keeping his aspirations in check.

“The competition in Finland is incredibly fast and we expect the fight will be just as tough as Estonia,” he admitted. “I would love to win but a realistic target would be another podium.

“We aim to continue improving. We saw in Estonia that our pace was closing in on the frontrunners, so I hope we will be able to carry on that path and get even better.”

Lindholm, fourth in the standings, trails championship leader Yohan Rossel by 18 points ahead of round nine of 13. And while Rossel has placed an entry for Finland in his Citroën C3 Rally2, the Frenchman is not nominating the event as a points-scoring round.

The same can be said for Oliver Solberg, currently third in the points with his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. It means that a strong result for Andreas Mikkelsen - winner in Estonia and Italy - could move the Norwegian to the top of the leaderboard.

Adrien Fourmaux spearheads M-Sport Ford’s charge but, with several low scores already on his tally, the Fiesta Rally2 man’s championship hopes look slim.

Also in contention for victory are Gus Greensmith, Nikolay Gryazin and Sami Pajari. The trio drive Toksport-prepared Škodas, while local stars include Lauri Joona, Jari Huttunen and ERC frontrunner Mikko Heikkilä in similar Fabias.

Secto Rally Finland Trailer
Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM