Mikko Heikkilä aims to increase his tarmac pace in the second round of ERC, Rally Islas Canarias. Heroics similar to ERC Portugal aren’t likely however, and the Finn rather focuses on increasing his pace steadily throughout the three-day event.
Mikko Heikkilä, 31, along with his co-driver Samu Vaaleri, 26, continue their ERC charge on the second round of the championship at the Canary Islands. Competing with the Portuguese team The Racing Factory’s Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, Heikkilä heads to his career-fourth tarmac rally, with last year’s WRC Spain being the most recent.
– We’ve had quite a break after ERC Portugal, and it’s nice to drive on tarmac again, even though it’s not a surface I’m most familiar with. I can’t draw too many comparisons between Spain’s roads based on only the test stage, but we aren’t expecting too much gravel on the roads as there are little cuts here.
ERC Rally Islas Canarias is first out of the season’s four tarmac rallies. After the stunning performance and leading most of the event in Portugal’s season opener Heikkilä isn’t expecting similar performance on his debut on the tarmac roads of the Canary Islands. The Finn is aiming to improving his pace throughout the three-day event.
– We’ll set our goals in terms of placements according to the start of the event. The biggest goal is to learn a lot and increase our pace throughout the rally. I don’t dare to expect a similar performance as in Portugal.
Heikkilä was testing on the rally week’s Tuesday as well as practising some tarmac manoeuvres at a local circuit with a cooperation partner’s Skoda. In addition to increasing the pace, Heikkilä hopes for one thing for the event.
-I’m hoping it won’t rain. I’d much rather drive on the dry.
Rally Islas Canarias begins on the 4th of May and ends on the 6th of May. The rally consists of 13 special stages and 190,06 special stage kilometres. The rally can be spectated via ERC+ platform with a WRC+ subscription.
Championship standings 1/8:
1. Hayden Paddon 34 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 NZL
2. Mads Ostberg 24 / +10 Citroen C3 Rally2 NOR
3. Georg Linnamäe 24 / +10 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 EST
4. Craig Breen 20 / +14 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 IRE
8. Mikko Heikkilä 11 / +23 Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo FIN
Photo: Zoom Motorsport
Words: Mikko Heikkilä Racing Communications / Juho Koski