ERC Islas Canarias a rally to forget for Heikkilä

Mikko Heikkilä has finished 18th in the second round of the ERC, Rally Islas Canarias. The weekend was one to forget for the Finn. The sights have now been set at the next round of the championship in Poland.

Mikko Heikkilä, 31, and his co-driver Samu Vaaleri, 26, have finished 18th on the second round of ERC, Rally Islas Canarias. Competing with The Racing Factory’s Skoda Fabia, the trip to the Canary Islands did not meet the expectations, and the sights have been set for the next round of the championship in Poland.

The event began on Thursday with a super special stage held at the heart of Las Palmas. The rally took off properly on Friday with six special stages. Heikkilä took a risk-free approach and finished the day 19th overall.

–          Driving feels OK from time to time, but times do not reflect it. There are also some issues with our pace notes as they are too tight for some places. The second leg was a bit better; my driving was slightly braver even though it didn’t show in the times. Driving on tarmac isn’t a routine for me yet.

The rally-ending day of Saturday consisted of six special stages as well. At highest Heikkilä finished a stage with an twelth fastest time.

–          The second stage of today was really demanding with the changes with grip on the road surface. SS10 felt ok apart from the last split. The setup of the car isn’t yet to my liking, but we’ll push on to the finish.

The last leg of the rally consisted of the morning’s stages driven for the second time. After 190 special stage kilometres, Heikkilä finished the event in P17.

–          It’s a numb feeling. It was raining for the entirety of the last leg, and whilst there’s still to be improved with driving in dry conditions, there’s still more in damp and wet ones. I wasn’t expecting too much with this rally, but a bit more than what we ended up with still.

The Michelin-driver has his sights already set for the next round of the championship, the gravel rally of 79th Rally Poland. The reigning Finnish Champion wishes to exceed his gratitude for the opportunity to compete at ERC Rally Islas Canarias.

–          We have a week to settle at home and it’s off to Poland with a new type of rally again. A big thank you to Michelin for providing tires that worked in all conditions and to all my cooperation partners for allowing us to compete this far from home. It would have been nice to give them some results to be happy about. We didn’t manage to do that today, but we will in the future for sure.

European Rally Championship continues with 79th Rally Poland on 20th to 21st of May.

ERC Islas Canarias overall results after SS13:

1.Yoann Bonato1:55:05,8 Citroen C3 Rally2FRA
2.Hayden Paddon1:55:42,7+36,9Hyundai i20 N Rally2NZL
3.Efren Llarena1:55:59,2+52,6Skoda Fabia RS Rally2ESP
4.Jan Solans1:56:04,1+58,3Hyundai i20 N Rally2ESP
5.Ivan Ares1:56:13,4+1:07,6Hyundai i20 N Rally2ESP
18.Mikko Heikkilä1:58:33.9+3:28,1Skoda Fabia Rally2 EvoFIN

Photo: Zoom Motorsport
Words: Mikko Heikkilä Racing Communications / Juho Koski

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