ERC-driver Mikko Heikkilä is competing in the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship round Rallye Ciudad de Granada next weekend. The rally cuts Heikkilä’s short hiatus, as the Finn gears up for the ERC season 2024.
Competing his first full year in the ERC, the 2022 Finnish Rally Champion Mikko Heikkilä is competing this weekend in the gravel roads on the mountains of Granada. Co-driven by Samu Vaaleri, the Skoda-driver is driving in the Rallye Ciudad de Granada, the penultimate round of Spanish Gravel Rally Championship. Invited by the event organizers, Heikkilä and Granada date back to last year.
-It’s nice to be able to drive one more rally this year, as the season was cut short by one event. We are driving here with the C.D. Plemar Sport team with the first-generation Skoda Fabia R5, the same as last year. Last time we had some technical difficulties, but here’s to hoping this year everything will go smoothly. A massive thank you to the event organizers for inviting us to the Spanish sunset from the rainy and dark Finnish autumn, Heikkilä explains.
With a solid event length of just under 100 special stage kilometres, this year’s entry list boasts some familiar names. A fight between the Nordics is sure to break out, as the Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby is also entering the event.
-The Granada rally cuts our hiatus nicely. The roads aren’t going to be fast, and all the kilometres gained from slower-paced gravel rallies are welcome. Our aim is to enjoy the event and the atmosphere without pressure. And you never know what these kinds of trips might lead to, in rallying doors can open in the most unexpected situations. It’s always worth of going, and the event was very well-organized last year. This year the competition is going to be tougher, and we get to enjoy a battle between the North-Europeans with Veiby, Heikkilä smiles.
The plans for the 2024 season are already forming up, and Heikkilä’s goals are clear. The Finn aims to start his sophomore season in the ERC from a clear table and continue from the heroic fight for the win of ERC Portugal, cut short by a puncture.
-We are working hard to be on the starting line next year. Some questions are still unanswered, but the goal is the same as last year. ERC as a series is good for us, the competition is tough, and exposure is growing yearly. We are hoping to be able to drive a few WRC events as well, Finland at least. Last year’s ERC events Poland and Latvia are now part of the WRC calendar, and it would be nice to drive either of the two, Heikkilä rounds up his plans for the future.
Rallye Ciudad de Granada is held in the Granada area on Saturday 28th of October. The rally consists of eight special stages and 96,40 special stage kilometres. The rally can be followed via the rally’s website www.rallyeciudaddegranada.es.
Rallye Ciudad de Granada itinerary – Saturday 28.10.
09:35 SS1 – 11,40 km 09:54 SS2 – 12,40 km 12:34 SS3 – 11,40 km 12:53 SS4 – 12,40 km 16:02 SS5 – 12,80 km 16:25 SS6 – 11,60 km 18:24 SS7 – 12,80 km 18:47 SS8 – 11,60 km
Times are local times.