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Broken rod distanced Heikkilä from podium battle


Mikko Heikkilä continues in fifth in WRC Sweden after three competitive days. Saturday started promisingly for the Finn, but troubles at the end of the day cost him time. With three stages still to run, Heikkilä aims to continue pushing despite the setbacks.

 

Mikko Heikkilä and co-driver Kristian Temonen are fifth in the WRC2 category after three competitive days. Fielding a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 prepared by TGS Motorsport, the Finn posted top 5 times for the majority of the Saturday’s seven stages but was hit by troubles during the evening.  

 

Heikkilä, who began Saturday in fifth position, started his morning with a third fastest time and followed up with his first stage win of the event on SS10.

 

-We made some setup changes to the car, and they proved to be effective. The car feels amazing, and it’s just a matter of making as little mistakes as possible.

 

The Finn narrowed the gap to podium by the time of mid day’s service, and the goal was to gain more time on the competitors in front.

 

-I’m still feeling divisive. The first stage of the day felt good, but the time wasn’t particularly fast. Morning loop’s second stage was a good one, but I started the third stage way too carefully. We picked up the pace around the middle of the stage.

 

On the second leg of Saturday Heikkilä’s luck would turn around. Whilst keeping up a solid pace for the first half of the leg, troubles on SS14 costed the Finn some time before the end of the day.

 

- We lost some power on SS14, but I was happy with my splits considering the handicap. Then about two kilometres before the finish we hit a rock that was right on the racing line, and it resulted in a puncture and a bent rod. We completed the penultimate stage and started the final stage of the day with wheel pointing in odd directions before the rod finally gave out at the second half of the stage, Heikkilä recapped.

 

WRC Sweden has three stages and 61 special stage kilometres still to run. Whilst the gap to drivers in front has increased since Friday, Heikkilä shows no signs of slowing down.

 

-In terms of competition it seems we are out of contention for podium, but we’ll push tomorrow and see where we are at the finish. The stages have been fantastic, and the car feels great, so it’s unfortunate that we dropped down like this, Heikkilä said.

 

WRC Sweden concludes Sunday 18th of February with three special stages and 61,08 special stage kilometres. The rally is shown live in Rally.tv streaming service and Rally TV application.

 

WRC2 standings SS15/18:

 

1.Oliver Solberg SWE 2:07:53,1 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2

2. Georg Linnamäe EST +1:14,0 Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

3. Sami Pajari FIN +1:14,2 Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

4. Roope Korhonen FIN +1:34,0 Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

5. Mikko Heikkilä FIN +1:50,1 Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

 

WRC Sweden Itinerary

 

Sunday 18.2. – 61,08 km

07:27 SS16 – Västervik 1 25,50 km

10:03 SS17 – Västervik 2 25,50 km

12:15 SS18 – Umeå 2 Power Stage 10,08 km

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