Toksport WRT's Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen drove their second WRC2 class victory of the season in WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece. The Finnish duo dominated the WRC2 class events with their Škoda for three long days of competition. Difference to teammate Nikolai Gryazin, who finished second, was 36.1 seconds.
Team GRX’s Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen dominated the WRC2 and WRC2 Junior classes in WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece starting from the first gravel special stage on Friday morning. At that point the duo moved to the first placein the WRC2 class, which they held after an intact and faultless drive to the finish line.
The number one place achieved in Greece and the best overall standing of Lindholm’s career (7th place) felt sweet after the rally. The success in Greece was important for the rest of the season because with the victory the Finnish duo will fight for the world championship in both categories.
- I'm pretty wiped so I haven't been able to jump for joy yet, even though I feel great. This was a great weekend. Reeta and I are both very satisfied with our performance. We had no mistakes and our car, team and tires worked great.
- Even though today, Sunday, we decided to drive completely safe and go around rocks, the last part of the Power Stage was in a rough shape. It was a big surprise that the most fierce part of the entire competition came in front of us at the last special stage. There were deep ruts with big stones in them, but in the end everything went well. We just cruised through the final part, Lindholm said.
- Even though we won the WRC2 class in the WRC Secto Rally Finland, but didn’t achieve it by driving, this first place feels like the first victory. Many thanks to Škoda and Toksport WRT. The result speaks for itself about our car, its durability and speed. A great car and its next generation has already been introduced, Lindholm reminded.
Lindholm and Hämäläinen rose to fight for the World Championship in points of the WRC2 and WRC2 Junior classes. In the WRC2 class Lindholm has driven one round less than Škoda's Andreas Mikkelsen who is leading the series with 20 points to Lindholm. Lindholm leads the WRC2 Junior class with 16 points, also having driven one round less than others.
- Before Greece I no longer believed in our chances in the WRC2 class, but now the situation is new again: we are fighting for the championship. The main goal of the season was set in the WRC2 Junior category for drivers under 30 years old, where the situation is now extremely good considering the end of the season.
Emil Lindholm's next goal is to take part in the season's second to last World Rally Championship round, WRC Rally RACC Catalunya - Rally de España, which will be driven on the 20th-23rd of October in Spain.
Final Results: WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece, Lamia, WRC2:
1. Emil Lindholm – Reeta Hämäläinen Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo 3:42:38.6
2. Nikolai Gryazin (ANA) – Konstantin Aleksandrov (ANA) Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo + 36.1
3. Alexandros Tsouloftas (CY) - Ross Whittock (GBR) Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 + 3:07.2
4. Eyvind Brynildsen – Roger Eilertsen (NOR) Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo + 3:10.1
WRC2-class World Championship points:
1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Škoda 109
2. Emil Lindholm (FIN) Škoda 89
3. Yohan Rossel (FRA) Citroën 80
WRC2 Junior-class World Championship points:
1. Emil Lindholm (FIN) Škoda 108
2. Chris Ingram (GBR) Škoda 92
3. Nikolai Gryazin (ANA) Škoda 79