Mikko Heikkilä improved his stakes in WRC2 category on Saturday, as the Skoda driver currently sits sixth in category after the third competitive day. Despite suffering gearbox trouble and a puncture, Heikkilä climbed seven positions on Saturday.
Mikko Heikkilä, teaming up with his co-driver Samu Vaaleri, is currently running sixth in category after three competitive days at WRC Secto Rally Finland. The competition started off on a sour note for Heikkilä on Friday's first special stage when gearbox problems cost him 30 seconds at the starting line. A puncture on the fourth stage further set back the Skoda driver. Starting Saturday, Heikkilä found himself in 13th place in the class.
"After yesterday's challenges, I must admit the feeling was a bit lackluster, as I wanted to compete for better positions. The weather has been occasionally tricky, and the roads are somewhat slippery, but the stages are fantastic," Heikkilä shared his thoughts during the mid-day service break.
Despite avoiding major risks on Saturday, the European Rally Championship driver steadily climbed up the leaderboard throughout the day, securing the sixth position in his class by the end of the overnight break.
"We decided to avoid taking bigger risks today, as planned. There's not much of a gap to the fifth place, so we'll see if we can climb further in the standings. The roads got quite rough during the second run. We hit a rock in Rapsula, and the wheel bearing took a hit, but other than that, the leg went fairly well," Heikkilä summarized the afternoon stages.
Secto Rally Finland continues tomorrow, Sunday, with four special stages covering a total of 51.64 kilometers. The competition concludes after special stage 22 - Himos-Jämsä 2, with the podium ceremony expected around 14:15.
WRC2 Classifications after SS 18/22
1. Sami Pajari 2:16:24,5 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 FIN
2. Adrien Fourmaux +33,9 Ford Fiesta Rally2 FRA
3. Nikolay Gryazin +1:25,2 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 ANA
4. Andreas Mikkelsen +1:45,1 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 NOR
5. Georg Linnamäe +2:01,8 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 EST
6. Mikko Heikkilä +2:02,8 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 FIN
Schedule: WRC Secto Rally Finland
Sunday 6.8. – 51,64 km
07:53 SS19 – Moksi-Sahloinen 1 (16,56 km)
09:05 SS20 – Himos-Jämsä 1 (9,26 km)
10:30 SS21 – Moksi-Sahloinen 2 (16,56 km)
13:15 SS22 – Himos-Jämsä 2 (9,26 km)