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Heikkilä second after the first competitive day “The gap is manageable, and we aim to close it tomorrow”


Mikko Heikkilä is running second in the traditional Arctic Lapland Rally after the first competitive day. Driving with the brand-new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, fielded by TGS Motorsport, Heikkilä was the fastest Toyota driver of the day. The gap to leader is a mere 5,2 seconds before Saturday’s seven special stages.

 

Mikko Heikkilä, co-driven by Kristian Temonen, have finished the opening day of Arctic Lapland Rally in second place. Driving his first rally with TGS Motorsport’s new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, Heikkilä was on pace for the whole day, and was trailing the leader by just 5,2 seconds by the end of the day.

 

On the opening leg of the rally Heikkilä started carefully, getting used to his new car. Third and fourth fastest special stage times kept Heikkilä within striking distance for the last three stages of the day. By the day’s service, the Michelin driver was running third.

 

-I’m still getting used to the car, but my performance was relatively clean. There are some things to be improved with the setup, but for now we’re not making any radical changes but instead try to get used to things as they stand. At SS1 – Aittajärvi the roads were in a phenomenal shape, let’s hope they are similar on the second leg, Heikkilä said at the midday service.

 

For the second leg of the rally Heikkilä set out to gain more ground, and the fastest time on SS3 elevated Heikkilä to the lead of  the rally. On the next two stages Heikkilä had to give some ground back and was running second in the SM1 category by the end of the day, with just 5,2 seconds separating him from the lead.

 

-It’s been a slightly positive day, but of course it could have been better. Yet the seconds are easily won afterwards with ifs and buts. The gap is manageable, and we aim to close it tomorrow. The setup still isn’t quite to my liking, but for now we are focusing on the rally at hand and leave the testing for another day. The Michelin tires are working well, and we have a good number of fresh ones for tomorrow’s stagesm Heikkilä sums.

 

Arctic Lapland Rally continues Saturday 3rd of February with seven special stages and 124,45 special stage kilometres. The rally is livestreamed on YouTube via Moottoriurheilu.tv’s channel, and live results can be found on Ralli SM website.

 

Arctic Lapland Rally standings SS5/12:

1.       Teemu Asunmaa        38:57,0              Skoda Fabia RS Rally2

2.       Mikko Heikkilä           +5,2                   Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

3.       Roope Korhonen        +18,4                 Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

4.       Nikolay Gryazin           +25,1                Citroen C3 Rally2

5.       Benjamin Korhola      +30,9                 Hyundai i20 N Rally2

 

Arctic Lapland Rally itinerary

 

Saturday 3.2. – 125,66 km

08:43 SS6 – Aittajärvi 2 – 24,18 km

09:46 SS7 – Siikakämä – 26,15 km

10:59 SS8 – Ounasvaara – 1,65 km

14:02 SS9 – Sarriojärvi 1 – 32,00 km

16:05 SS10 – Patovaara – 7,28 km

16:38 SS11 – Kemijärvi – 2,40 km

17:41 SS12 – Sarriojärvi 2 – 32,00 km

20:16 Finish – Lordi's Square - Rovaniemi

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