How small mistake helped Åhlin to first ERC podium
Fredrik Åhlin has revealed how a “small mistake” helped him to his first podium in the FIA European Rally Championship when the 2018 season reached its climax on Rally Liepāja earlier this month.
Åhlin finished third overall and third in ERC Junior Under 28 – the category for young stars in R5 cars – after getting the better of Fabian Kreim in a final-stage showdown. The Swede, who was driving a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for CA1 Sport, revealed just how he managed to complete the Latvia podium.
“We made a small mistake in stage 11, where we went wide in a junction, so dropped some time,” the Swede explained. “It was actually quite good because I knew that going to the last [stage] we had to win or not win, there was no margin to play it safe. I went really, really hard. It was a good stage for sure, so [we’re] really happy.”
Despite his pedigree on gravel, Åhlin said afterwards that the result had exceeded his expectations.
“The last time I was on gravel was in May,” he said. “I’m unfortunately not doing much rallying this year and it took some time to get back into it. Both Nikolay [Gryazin] and Chris [Ingram] are really fast and it showed, especially as we couldn’t keep up with them. But still, I’m really happy with third.”