Team MRF Tyres has taken victory in the Ralli SM – the Finnish Rally Championship with Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hämäläinen winning the PohjanmaaRalli in their Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. This was against strong competition from the global leaders Pirelli and Michelin.
The PohjanmaaRalli is the fourth round of the Finnish Championship and this win is the first for MRF Tyres in the Finnish Rally Championship and comes on the back of multiple podium finishes for Lindholm and Hämäläinen.
The PohjanmaaRalli challenged the crews to eight stages and 121.78km of fast gravel stages.
Over the first leg Lindhoom and Hämäläinen lay in fifth position. With 30km of stages completed, it was evident that the rally would be tight and fast.
The second leg would see three stages and over 48km of competitive action. These three stages were repeated in the third loop.
Lindholm and Hämäläinen were immediately on the pace for Team MRF Tyres.
They took the stage win on SS3 and SS5 and second on SS4 to rise through the ranks to second place.
A titanic battle would emerge between the MRF Tyres crew and MikkoHeikkilä / TopiLuhtinen.
On SS6, the 19.32km Hirvijärvitest, Lindholm set a time of 10:05.4, to take the stage win and move into the lead of the rally – by just 2.3 seconds.
He built on his lead in SS7, taking the second fastest stage time and increasing his lead by 1.1 seconds.
The pressure was on in the final stage. With no room for error, he took the stage win. On the 7.64 km Haasoja stage, he set a time of 4:14.9 to take the stage win and seal the victory.
MRF Tyres’ first win in the ultra-competitive Finnish Championship comes on the back of MRF Tyres first win in the Italian Gravel Championship.
It demonstrates the dedication and commitment of MRF Tyres to developing the next generation of tyres for top-line rally.
For Lindholm, it is his second year with MRF Tyres and has played a vital role in the development of the tyres.
The team will not rest and the development of the tyres will continue.
With two podiums and a victory in the Finnish Rally Championship this year, Team MRF Tyres are in the fight and has proven fast and reliable on different surfaces in tough competition.
For Team MRF Tyres, the team will be out in Italy next weekend for the San Marino Rally, the third round of the Italian Rally Championship – Gravel.
Next for Lindholm and Hämäläinen is the Oulu Ralli which takes place in September.
Emil Lindholm, winner, Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
“It is amazing to win here in PohjanmaaRalli. This result shows the pace of development from the entire team at Team MRF Tyres and we should all be proud of our work.
“Coming into the weekend, I was aiming for a good result but never dreamt of a victory. But the car and the tyres felt great all weekend. This rally is very fast, with some stages having an average speed of more than 120km/h. Today, we took four stage wins and two-second places. It is a great result.”
“We have shown that the tyre is competitive in Finland and I am proud to take MRF Tyres first win here, in what is such a competitive championship. Though we will continue to push the development of the tyres to make sure we can win again in the future. Now we, and the whole team will celebrate this achievement.”