Lindholm reveals his so-near-yet-so-far moment ahead of ERC Rally Liepaja debut
Emil Lindholm has revealed how he came within 12 kilometres of arriving in Latvia for round two of the FIA European Rally Championship a winner.
Lindholm, part of the Team MRF Tyres development programme in the ERC, prepared for his Rally Liepāja debut with an outing on Rally Città di Arezzo – Crete Senesi e Valtiberina in Italy last weekend.
After winning five out of six stages to build a lead of 15s, Lindholm was on the road section heading to the final stage when he was forced to stop due to a mechanical issue.
“For the most part, it was absolutely beautiful and I was really happy with the performance and durability,” said the Finn, a contender for ERC1 Junior honours n 2020. “We have temperatures of over 35 degrees and it was really good to see how well the tyres lasted in those temperatures. It was super-disappointing for me, the team and MRF Tyres to retire from the lead with mechanical issues before the last stage. It was devastating but we had good pace.”
Despite the disappointment, Lindholm plans to use his outing in Italy as a positive.
“It is a testament to the tyre we used on gravel,” he said. “We weren’t relaxed but we weren’t at the absolute limit, so there was more to go, which is very encouraging for the MRF Tyre. It certainly gives us confidence for Rally Liepāja. The profile of the roads here are similar but the roads are faster. So that is good for us.
“If everything goes right, we could be on the podium which is where I am aiming. But it is important to concentrate on getting more information for the development of the next generation of MRF Tyres.”