Mikko Heikkilä has finished fifth in the ERC Rally Poland. Troubles with the setup of his car costed time on Saturday, which the Finn set out to catch on Sunday.
Mikko Heikkilä, 31, with his co-driver Samu Vaaleri, 26, have finished fifth in the third round of ERC, 79th Rally Poland. Heikkilä struggled with the setup of his car on Saturday but rose in the standings after setup changes made to his Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. The Racing Factory driver now focuses fully for the next round in Latvia held in the middle of June.
Heikkilä’s rally started with difficulties after the car’s setup wasn’t to the reigning Finnish Champion’s liking after unsuccessful testing. Heikkilä’s who struggled for the whole of Saturday with the setup, was running eight overall by the night’s service.
-The car was still too soft, even when we’re tried to change everything in the car. I’m feeling frustrated. I’m pushing, but it’s no use. We ought to figure something out during the night.
Heikkilä tackled Sunday with new grit. On Monday morning’s stages, Heikkilä was three times fifth and once fourth. During the service break the Michelin driver confirmed the changes to be successful.
-The day started way better in terms of the car. It’s a shame that yesterday went in the gutter due to the setup mess. Today we are still losing some time due to our starting position, but the car and driving feel a lot better and easier. Fourth position might be up for grabs, and whilst it’s not what we set out to achieve, there isn’t much else to do. We’ll push flat-out.
For the last leg of the rally Heikkilä found some more Sisu and won stages 13 and 15. On the rally-ending Power Stage Heikkilä was second fastest, adding 4 points to his championship points. Increased pace resulted in fifth overall.
-The roads were quite rough now, but we didn’t have to open the road anymore so the times were better. We had quite a fight for fourth with (Mads) Ostberg which we both enjoyed a lot, even though fifth wasn’t what we set out to achieve. It’s a shame that we chose the wrong settings yesterday. Whilst we probably didn’t have the pace to win, we probably would have been able to contest for podium.
Whilst the Rally Poland didn’t go according to expectations for Heikkilä, the Finn enjoyed driving in Poland. Heikkilä wishes to extend his gratitude to his cooperation partners and everyone cheering him on.
-A big thank you to our cooperation partners for the possibility to be here. Even though I’m disappointed, I’m grateful to be able to compete in Europe, it’s not too common for a regular guy to compete on this level. Special thanks for Michelin for the durable tires. And of course thank you for everyone following us and cheering us on.
ERC continues with TET Rally Liepaja in Latvia on the 17th to 18th of June.
ERC 79th Rally Poland results:
1. Martins Sesks 1:34:57,8 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 LVA
2. Hayden Paddon 1:35:374 +39,6 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 NZL
3. Mikolaj Marczyk 1:36:02,7 +1:04,9 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 POL
4. Mads Ostberg 1:36:10,7 +1:12,9 Citroen C3 Rally2 NOR
5. Mikko Heikkilä 1:36:14,5 +1:16,7 Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo FIN