Mikko Heikkilä competes in the 11th round of the WRC Championship, WRC RallyRACC Rally de Espana held the upcoming weekend. Rally de Espana is Heikkilä’s tarmac rally debut. Heikkilä, who tested at the beginning of the week, is looking for an ascending performance.
Mikko Heikkilä, 29, along with his co-driver Topi Luhtinen, 26, are competing in the WRC RallyRACC Rally de Espana held in Catalunya this weekend. Heikkilä’s fourth WRC start is also a career-first tarmac rally start. Starting with the competition number 34, Heikkilä is well prepared and eager to get to drive competitively on tarmac.
-It’s a great feeling to be here. I was anticipating driving on tarmac to be fun, and during tests it felt exactly so. I’ve been thinking for a while how would it feel to drive a full tarmac rally and now we get the chance to experience it.
Heikkilä has placed on the WRC3 category podium in all three previous WRC entries, with second-place finish in WRC Rally Finland last mont. Heikkilä’s target for the challenging tarmac stages of Catalunya is to learn and improve.
-Our goal is an ascendance in terms of performance and of course to learn something new. We’ll start off easily and improve our pace during the rally. There’s much to be learned, but we got off to a good start during testing and now we dare to race.
Heikkilä also drives his Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo with the so-called tarmac package for the first time. The tarmac-package Rally2 Evo has a few modifications determined by the package when comparing to the gravel package. Heikkilä tested with the tarmac-package for the first time this week and is happy with his performance gained during testing.
-The car is the same as it has been before, but for tarmac we changed different shock absorbers, brakes, and of course tarmac tires as well. The tests we had during the start of the week left us with a good taste, even though the testing stage was probably a bit easier than the actual stages of the rally. I’m not claiming to be an expert with tarmac based on the tests, but we’ll learn as we go and that’s why we are here after all.
Words: Juho Koski / Mikko Heikkilä Racing