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Heikkilä to continue in Sweden where he left off in Rovaniemi

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Mikko Heikkilä competes in the second round of the World Rally Championship, WRC Sweden, this weekend.

The winning pair of Arctic Lapland Rally, Mikko Heikkilä and co-driver Kristian Temonen, are challenging the top crews of WRC2 category in the upcoming WRC Sweden held from 15th to 19th of February. After bringing home the first victory after the homologation of the new Toyota GR Yaris Rally 2, the pair sets out to continue where they left off in Rovaniemi. Carrying number 26 on his TGS Motorsport-prepared car, the Umeå-based event is first of its kind for Heikkilä.

It’s great to be able to compete in WRC Sweden for the first time. Special thanks go to TGS Motorsport and my cooperation partners for making this trip possible. At first, we didn’t plan on doing any winter rallies, but luckily, we were able to make these two events happen. It’s also nice to open our international rallying season near our home country, Heikkilä said.

With a great start to the competitive season under his belt, Heikkilä sets out to continue his great start to the season by hunting a good result from Sweden. The strategy for the event is the same as ever for Heikkilä, as fast as possible.

We are aiming to be as close to the front of the pack as possible, so our strategy is flat-out without pushing too hard. The level of competition is naturally very high here, so we must push hard from the get-go.

The stages near Umeå, where the rally moved two years ago, are to the Finn’s liking. As well as differing in character from the stages of Arctic Lapland Rally, another key difference in the event comes from the tires used between Finland’s national championship and WRC.

The stages here seem great. They are a bit like the ones we had in Arctic, but here they are maybe a bit clearer whilst not being any less technical. The biggest difference comparing these two events come from tires. As there’s only a single supplier in WRC and the winter tires here use 7-millimetre studs, there isn’t as much grip especially on the loose snow compared to our Michelins used in Rovaniemi. Of course, the tires are same for everybody, so adapting is the name of the game here, Heikkilä stated.