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Heikkilä to compete in ERC and Italian gravel championship with Step Five Motorsport’s Yaris Rally2

Mikko Heikkilä will be competing in the upcoming weekend in the opening round of Italian Gravel Rally Championship with Step Five Motorsport. The event kicks off the joint season for Step Five and Heikkilä, as the Michelin-driver already has his mind on the 2024 ERC season opener in Hungary in April.

Finnish Rally Champion 2022 and ERC regular Mikko Heikkilä opens his competitive season of 2024 together with Step Five Motorsport this weekend with the opening round if Italian Gravel Rally Championship. Heikkilä will also compete in the ERC championship with the Italian team’s Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 this year.

-The proposal to compete in the Italian gravel championship came for the team. They are eager to win the championship, and I’ll do my best to help them achieve it. We aren’t taking anything for granted though, as the entry list has some big names on it. Local drivers will surely go fast, so we’ll try to keep the pace up as well, Heikkilä said.

The speciality of the weekend’s nine stage event is, alongside the narrow and twisty mountain roads of Umbria, the way the event is structured. A total of three stages will be driven three times each for a total of nine special stages.

-Driving each stage three times might sound extreme for a Finn, but after watching the recce videos I doubt it'll be a problem. The roads look solid, and the stages are challenging. The stages also look slippery, and if we are to have rain as forecasted, they surely are as well. By the third pass we have memorized the stages pretty well, said Heikkilä, who attacks the nine stages with number 9 on his Toyota.

After the opening round, one further round of the Italian national championship will be held before the main series of Heikkilä’s 2024 season, ERC, begins from Hungary in the middle of April. Heikkilä will be co-driven in the opening round of the Italian championship as well as the whole of ERC by Kristian Temonen.

-The beginning of the ERC season is closing fast. After the weekend’s event, as well as WRC Sweden and Arctic Lapland Rally, we can build a good routine and charge for Hungary’s season opener. Whilst the roads here aren’t quite like the ones we’ll have in ERC this year, it’s good practice nevertheless, and a nice new challenge for us, Heikkilä stated.

Rally Citta di Foligno is held on Sunday 10th of March. The event consists of nine special stage and 76,38 special stage kilometres. ERC season begins in Hungary in 12th to 14th of April.

Rally Citta di Foligno itinerary:

08:24 SS1 – Scopolo 1 – 12,14 km

09:10 SS2 – Collecroce 1 – 7,05 km

09:27 SS3 – Monte Alago 1 – 10,27 km

11:51 SS4 – Scopoli 2 – 12,14 km

12:37 SS5 – Collecroce 2 – 7,05 km

12:54 SS6 – Monte Alago 2 – 10,27 km

15:18 SS7 – Scopoli 3 – 12,14 km

16:04 SS8 – Collecroce 3 – 7,05 km

16:21 SS9 – Monte Alago 3 – 10,27 km

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