Friday, June 2, 2023

A dream opportunity opens up for Finnish drivers in the World Rally Championship


Emil Lindholm is a strong candidate when Hyundai chooses drivers for the Estonian and Finnish World Cup rallies.

Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi drove the full season for Hyundai in the World Rally Championship. The team is looking for a driver for its third car.

The team needs a replacement for Craig Breen, who passed away in April at the age of 33, of course, at least for the Estonian and Finnish World Cup rallies, but also for all other competitions that the Spanish champion Dani Sordo doesn’t drive.

Sordo, 40, could retire completely at the end of this year, so Hyundai is clearly looking for a long-term solution with its selection.

Lindholm’s rallying career has progressed under favorable stars. The 26-year-old Lindholm, who serves as a Skoda test driver, won both the WRC2 Junior and WRC2 Open championships last season.

Earlier, he won the SM1 class championship in 2021 and won silver last year. Lindholm, who is completing her master’s degree in economics at the Swedish-language Hanken School of Economics, dropped the domestic special exam from her program after last year.

The second generation rally driver has taken part in three World Cup rallies this season. At the Mexico World Rally, Lindholm and map reader Rita Hämälinen finished second in the WRC2.

The cooperation with Škoda Motorsport has long been important to Lindholm. The Helsinki native got to test the brand’s existing rally weapon, the RS Rally2, for around 50 days and was one of the main developers ahead of the car’s World Cup debut at the Monte Carlo Rally in January.

Another driver linked to Hyundai is Teemu Suninen, who is already competing in WRC2 in his second full season with the brand. Hyundai boss Cyril Abiteboul said at the World Rally in Portugal that Hyundai was looking for a long-term solution for the young driver.

Lindholm and Suninen, 29, meet the criteria, so team places could be a toss-up between the two Finns who are attempting to advance in their careers.

Lindholm spoke modestly about her condition.

– I can’t comment because I don’t know for sure, but it’s good to have hope, he said.

Lindholm’s background forces are his own father, Sebastian, and two-time rally world champion, Markus Grönholm.

Gronholm was also of few words.

– We’ll see, said the Inconese.

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *