Mikko Heikkilä has claimed victory at the Rallye Ciudad de Granada in Granada, Spain. Competing as a guest of the event organizers with a Skoda R5 ran by C.D. Plemar Sport, Heikkilä's win came with a commanding lead of 42.2 seconds. After a maiden international win, Heikkilä is looking forward to the 2024 ERC season.
Invited to Granada as a guest of the event organizers, ERC-driver Mikko Heikkilä has won the Rallye Ciudad de Granada, a part of Spanish Gravel Rally Championship. The Skoda-driver navigated the event in C.D. Plemar Sport team's first-generation Skoda Fabia R5, co-driven by Samu Vaaleri. Winning in Granada marks Heikkilä’s first international win.
"It was a great day for us, and we enjoyed the rally without major issues. Thanks to the event organizers for the invitation and a well-organized rally. We had one puncture, which cost us some time, and we were given a jump start on the second stage. Our closest competitors also had jump starts, so it seems the sensors might have been a bit sensitive," Heikkilä recounted the day's events.
The rally on Saturday consisted of 8 special stages and just under a hundred special stage kilometers. The event saw a head-to-head battle between Heikkilä and former Super 2000 class world champion Xevi Pons. Eventually, the Heikkilä came out on top with a 42,2 second lead.
"The roads have been great, and it's been a lot of fun to drive. I don't know what tricks the team has pulled off over the year, but the car's driving feel has improved significantly. Of course, this year, we're using Michelin tires, which naturally have a positive effect. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. The Rallye Ciudad de Granada was an extra event for our season, which we did not plan at all, but it gave us some good practise before the 2024 season," Heikkilä expressed his gratitude.
Rallye Ciudad de Granada Results:
1. Mikko Heikkilä 1:01:39,9 Skoda Fabia R5 FIN
2. Xevi Pons +42,2 Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 ESP
3. Ole Christian Veiby +1:00,5 Skoda Fabia R5 NOR
4. Joan Vinyes +2:18,9 Hyundai i20 N Rally2 AND
5. Xavi Vidales +2:23,5 Skoda Fabia R5 ESP