Heikkilä’s WRC Rally de Espana to an premature end

Photo: Honza Fronek

Mikko Heikkilä’s tarmac debut WRC RallyRACC Rally de Espana has been interrupted due to a crash on SS9. Heikkilä and co-driver Luhtinen are OK. Continuing the rally is a possibility due to Rally 2 rule.

Mikko Heikkilä, 29, with his co-driver Topi Luhtinen, 26, have interrupted their WRC RallyRACC Rally de Espana, held in Catalunya, due to an accident on the ninth stage of the event. Heikkilä and Luhtinen are OK.

Heikkilä began the RACC Rally de Espana on Friday with an eight fastest time for special stage one. On the second stage of the day Heikkilä was sixth fastest. Heikkilä ended the morning’s leg with a fourth fastest time on SS3 and with a sixth place in WRC3.

-It felt decent. The gap to class and R5 leaders is a bit smaller than I expected beforehand. We don’t have any huge expectations with our results, the most important part is to improve on tarmac.

The afternoon leg contained the morning’s three stages driven for the second time. On special stage four Heikkilä was seventh fastest, but the puncture on the next stage dropped Heikkilä down to tenth in category. Heikkilä was seventh in the finishing stage of the day and tenth in WRC3 after Friday.

-The puncture on the SS5 was not a good end for the otherwise decent day. The other stages of the leg were clean, and we had a decent rhythm.

Saturday’s second competitive day began for Heikkilä with a seventh fastest time for SS7. On the second stage of the morning, SS8, Heikkilä was fifth fastest. On special stage nine however, Heikkilä’s rally came to a premature end.

-I understood a pace note to be faster than it was in reality, Topi said it exactly right. The braking was late due to this, and we hit a tree. We are both fine with Topi.

Due to the Rally 2 rule, continuing the event on Sunday is on the table. Heikkilä’s goal is to complete the rally and gain valuable special stage kilometres on tarmac if the car is fixed for Sunday.

-Apologies to all of my cooperation partners, supporters and to the team. We’ll see what we can do at the service. If possible, my goal is to drive through Sunday and gain kilometres from this rally.

Words: Juho Koski / Mikko Heikkilä Racing

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