Future Star Lindholm begins his Neste Rally Finland adventure

27.7.2017 23:44This year's Future Rally Star of Finland Emil Lindholm has got his debut appearance on his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship underway this evening.

The 21-year-old is competing in the Junior World Rally Championship on Neste Rally Finland after winning a fully-funded drive against other young prospects from the country.
 
His day began with the exclusive pre-event test organised for the JWRC competitors.
 
It was on the old Palsankylä stage, with one huge jump, he said. It was good to see how this car behaves on the jumps. It was incredible: I ve never seen a crest where you can t go much faster than 100 km/h and survive. We ve got more of them on this route.
 
Next, he was first up in the official pre-event press conference, where he spoke to the assembled media about his status as Future Rally Star of Finland.
 
I think it s a great opportunity to get this title, he said. I think the guys who got it before me have all been going forwards in their career very well. Of course nothing is given with this title by itself, so there is a lot of hard work involved but I hope I will able to do it.
 
Finally, the rally got underway for real with the Harju stage, a short mixed-surface test in host city Jyväskylä itself. Lindholm was sixth fastest among the JWRC drivers, and is within 3.8 seconds of the leader going into the first full day of competition tomorrow, featuring 12 stages and a total of 145.71 kilometres.
 
He said: It was OK. We were quite conservative on that one because it was really slippery and we didn t want to take any risks. The tarmac was surprisingly slippery, and so was the gravel because it s very loose as it s not a road. It was OK. I m looking forward to tomorrow. It s a long day: we really need to be alert and be careful not to damage the car as there are six stages before service.

Photo: AKK/Taneli Niinimäki