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Heikkilä's opening day tinged with misfortune

Mikko Heikkilä finds himself at a thirteenth position after the first two competitive days at Secto Rally Finland. The Finnish Skoda-driver faced a challenging opening day, filled with bad luck.

Mikko Heikkilä and co-driver Samu Vaaleri are running thirteenth in category after Friday’s stages at the Secto Rally Finland. Heikkilä’s first longer competitive day was filled with misfortune, leaving the Finn frustrated.

The competition kicked off on Thursday evening with the short spectator special stage at Harju, where Heikkilä played it safe and completed the stage seventh fastest. On Friday, Heikkilä set out to battle with the leaders in his class, but problems struck right on the first special stage as the gear shifter broke at the start. Eventually, Heikkilä got back on track but lost half a minute at the starting line. On the second special stage of the day, he showed competitive pace, but a puncture on the third stage dropped the TGS Motorsport's Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 driver far from the leading pack. The only consolation of the day was setting the fastest time in his class on the ninth special stage.

"I feel really frustrated. This is already our seventh race that somehow goes wrong for us. Coming here, our expectations were high, but they shattered with the gearbox issue during the first acceleration. And then, we had a puncture in Myhinpää, which I can't really put on my own account; there must have been something sharp on the road that caused the puncture. Our rally was pretty much over in the early stages," expressed a disappointed Heikkilä during Friday night's service break.

Secto Rally Finland continues on Saturday, starting at 08:05. The day's schedule includes eight special stages and 160.68 kilometers of competitive driving.

WRC2 Classifications after SS 10/22

1. Jari Huttunen 54:48,5 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 FIN

2. Sami Pajari +12,9 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 FIN

3. Nikolay Gryazin +13,2 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 ANA

4. Adrien Fourmaux +22,3 Ford Fiesta Rally2 FRA

5. Andreas Mikkelsen +34,0 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 NOR

13. Mikko Heikkilä +1:13,1 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 FIN

Schedule: WRC Secto Rally Finland

Saturday 5.8. – 160,68 km

08:05 SS11 – Västilä 1 (18,94 km)

09:05 SS12 – Päijälä 1 (20,19 km)

10:05 SS13 – Rapsula 1 (20,56 km)

11:05 SS14 – Vekkula 1 (10,65 km)

15:35 SS15 – Västilä 2 (18,94 km)

16:35 SS16 – Päijälä 2 (20,19 km)

17:32 SS17 – Rapsula 2 (20,56 km)

18:35 SS18 – Vekkula 2 (20,65 km)

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)

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