His day began very strongly, with the second fastest time on the Halinen stage, only 0.8 seconds away from the fastest time. The result was exactly the same on the next test, Urria, which moved Lindholm and his co-driver Tomi Tuominen up to second overall in the class, where all the drivers compete in identical Ford Fiesta R2T cars.
He remained in the top three, only five seconds off the lead, until SS7, the second run over Jukojärvi, one of the rally’s longest tests at 21.31 kilometres. Here, he was caught out at one of the chicanes and lost around 40 seconds to the fastest driver.
Over the afternoon, which unusually featured a completely different set of stages to the morning, Lindholm gradually improved his times once more. He placed inside the top three on both SS10 and SS12, only behind drivers who have contested the challenging high-speed event in the past.
He said: “It started off fairly well. It was really clean with no moments whatsoever until the second run of Jukojärvi, where I just outbraked myself into a chicane and we were stuck in a rut at the side of the road.
“That took some confidence away from my driving and the start of the afternoon was not very good, but we regained some of it during the evening and the last forest stage, Laukaa, was a good run. I hope I can fight more tomorrow. Some of the other guys are really fast because they are taking higher risks, and those that have done this rally before have a small advantage. They know the roads better than I do even though it’s my home event.”
Photo: AKK/Toni Ollikainen