Mikko Heikkilä third in his WRC rally debut

Photo: Hannu Rainamo

Mikko Heikkilä has placed third in WRC Arctic Rally Finland.

Mikko Heikkilä, 28, along with his co-driver Topi Luhtinen, 26, have finished third in WRC3 category in the second round of the WRC season, WRC Arctic Rally Finland, driven in Rovaniemi.

Heikkilä started WRC Arctic Rally Finland on Friday by driving the fifth fastest times for both special stages of the day. Heikkilä was running fifth in WRC3 after Friday.

-We overshot a junction and we needed spin the car around and lost time there. Other than that it was ok, we drove safely. It was quite slippery and I couldn’t get a proper rhythm going.

On Saturday’s first stage SS3 – Mustalampi 1 Heikkilä drove the sixth fastest time.

–It didn’t feel very good. Driving felt decent at times, but the times don’t reflect that. It feels like I’m going faster, but I’m just not.

On the next two stages Heikkilä was third and fourth respectively. On the second leg of Saturday Heikkilä was fifth fastest.

-It didn’t feel very good. Driving felt decent at times, but the times don’t reflect that. It feels like I’m going faster, but I’m just not.

-For the special stage 7 – Kaihuavaara 2 Heikkilä drove the second fastest time, only 0,2 seconds behind the fastest time. For the last stage of the day SS8 – Siikakämä 2 Heikkilä drove the third fastest time.

-This leg went a bit better than in the morning, but I’m still feeling slightly disappointed. We didn’t have a good visibility now in Siikakämä due to heavy snowing.

On the last day of the event Heikkilä drove carefully on the special stage 9 – Aittajärvi 1 being fourth fastest. He continued this careful driving in special stage 10 being sixth fastest and finishing in the highly competitive WRC3 class in third place. A podium finish from a WRC rally was the first of it’s kind for the Nurmijärvi native.

-It’s a good result and I’m happy for it, but the driving just wasn’t quite there during the whole weekend with a few stages as an exception. We need to drive faster and make less mistakes and we’ll keep on improving this. Overall it was a great event, great experience and we got a lot of valuable special stage kilometres.

Heikkilä’s first WRC rally of his career could not have been possible without the valuable support of his partners.

-A huge and humble thank you to everyone who made this event possible. A great big thank you to our partners, we’ll keep hoping that another chance to drive in an event like this happens.

Heikkilä is taking part in the next round of Finnish Rally Championship in Kouvola next weekend.

-We’ll drive home and on to Kouvola next weekend. Our goal is to fight for the lead positions.

Overall results of the WRC Arctic Rally Finland in WRC3:

Teemu Asunmaa2:11:55.3 FINSkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
Egon Kaur2:11:59.5+4.2ESTVolkswagen Polo GTI R5
Mikko Heikkilä2:13:33.9+1:38.6FINSkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
Eerik Pietarinen2:13:40.6+1:45.3FINSkoda Fabia R5
Mattias Ekström2:14:29.2+2:33.9SWESkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
Gregor Jeets2:18:12.8+6:17.5ESTSkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Text: Juho Koski

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