Mikko Heikkilä is competing in the third WRC event of his career, WRC Secto Automotive Rally Finland this weekend. After podium finishes in WRC3 category in Finnish and Estonian rounds of the WRC championships, Heikkilä is looking to continue this streak in Jyväskylä.
Mikko Heikkilä, 29, along with his co-driver Topi Luhtinen, 26, are competing in the tenth round of the WRC championship, WRC Secto Automotive Rally Finland. The second Finnish round of the WRC season is also celebrating the event’s 70 years of running. Starting with number 30 to his third WRC event of the season, Heikkilä is excited.
-We are feeling great and I feel we’ve prepared well. It’s great to drive a third WRC round this year, that’s two more than first thought. We’ve been testing for this and we have a good touch after the FRC finale last weekend.
Heikkilä placed third in WRC3 in the first Finnish round of the championship, WRC Arctic Rally Finland as well as in WRC Rally Estonia. From Jyväskylä he’s aiming for a third podium finish. The goal of the new FRC championship runner up is also to gain more pace.
-From a results standpoint we’re looking for a podium finish. We’ve succeeded twice in it and it would be foolish to aim for anything less. However in terms of pace we haven’t quite been at the top and our goal is to make this difference smaller and gain more pace. All in all a clean and mistake free rally that ends on the podium is a great one.
The WRC event held in Jyväskylä is driven later in autumn rather than during August as usually. This means lower temperatures and shorter duration of daylight. Heikkilä is feeling confident of the stages driven in dusk.
-We drove three stages in complete darkness last weekend in Kokkola and it didn’t cause any issues for us. On the other hand darkness is a nice element, and we have great VisioX lights on our car. Of course driving in the dark is always different than in daylight, but with good lights visibility in front of the car isn’t too much worse than during the day.
Heikkilä has been testing his Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo during September in preparation for Jyväskylä. A higher starting number affects a little on the setup of the car, but the basic setup has been kept the same.
-We have almost identical setup in the car as we did in Kokkola. Most stages are driven twice and that might make them groovy and we have been planning small changes to the setup due to them.
WRC Secto Automotive Rally Finland is held from 1st to 3rd of October in Jyväskylä. The event consists of 19 special stages and 287,11 special stage kilometres. First stage begins on Friday at 13:30 and the rally ends on Sunday at 14:15.
WRC Secto Automotive Rally Finland’s schedule:
Friday 1st of October – 89,42 km
|08:01||Shakedown – Vesala||4,04 km|
|13:30||SS1 – Harju 1||2,31 km|
|14:28||SS2 – Ässämäki 1||12,31 km|
|15:18||SS3 – Sahoinen-Moksi 1||21,37 km|
|17:08||SS4 – Ässämäki 2||12,31 km|
|17:58||SS5 – Sahloinen-Moksi 2||21,37 km|
|19:00||SS6 – Oittila||19,75 km|
Saturday 2nd of October – 151,95 km
|08:16||SS7 – Kakaristo-Hassi 1||18,17 km|
|09:14||SS8 – Päijälä 1||22,61 km|
|10:38||SS9 – Arvaja 1||13,49 km|
|11:28||SS10 – Patajoki 1||20,55 km|
|15:16||SS11 – Kakaristo-Hassi 2||18,17 km|
|16:14||SS12 – Päijälä 2||22,61 km|
|17:38||SS13 – Arvaja 2||13,49 km|
|18:28||SS14 – Patajoki 2||20,55 km|
|20:00||SS15 – Harju 2||2,31 km|
Sunday 3rd of October – 45,74 km
|08:35||SS16 – Laukaa 1||11,75 km|
|09:38||SS17 – Ruuhimäki 1||11,12 km|
|11:01||SS18 – Laukaa 2||11,75 km|
|13:18||SS19 – Ruuhimäki 2 Power Stage||11,12 km|
Words: Juho Koski / Mikko Heikkilä Racing