Rally Sweden/WRC3: ŠKODA privateers Emil Lindholm and Oliver Solberg finish second and fifth

› After thrilling last stage of Swedish world championship round, ŠKODA privateer Emil

Lindholm and co-driver Mikael Korhonen bring home second place of WRC3 category

› A puncture during the last stage relegated Oliver Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston

from third to fifth in WRC3 on their debut with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo

› Seven of the nine finishers of the WRC3 category were ŠKODA crews

Torsby, 16 February 2020 – Because of the unseasonal warm weather, the second round of

the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was shortened to nine stages covering 148.55

kilometres. But the shortest Rally Sweden (13/02/–16/02/2020) ever saw a nail biting final on

the very last special stage on Sunday. The 21.19 kms of “Likenäs” also brought the decision

in the WRC3 category. Emil Lindholm (FIN) and Mikael Korhonen (FIN), sharing a private

ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, missed WRC3 victory by just five seconds. Oliver Solberg (SWE)

and co-driver Aaron Johnston (IRL) finished their WRC3 debut with the ŠKODA FABIA

Rally2 evo in fifth position after losing third during the last stage due to a puncture.

The organizers of the 2020 edition of Rally Sweden fought heroically against the unseasonal warm

weather and a lack of snow in the Värmland region of Sweden and across the border in Norway.

For a long time, it was not clear, whether the rally could talk place at all. But common efforts finally

secured nine stages covering 148.55 kilometres. On Sunday, only the 21.19 kilometres long

“Likenäs” TV Wolf Power Stage remained. Under heavy rainfalls on mud and ice, the test brought

the decision in a tense fight for victory and podium positions also in the WRC3 category.

The Finnish ŠKODA privateers Emil Lindholm/Mikael Korhonen (ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo) were

leading the WRC3 category until stage 7, when they lost the lead to the Hyundai crew Jari

Huttunen/Mikko Lukka (FIN/FIN). During the final 21.19 kilometres of stage 9, they tried everything

they could. But to no avail, they reached the finish five seconds adrift of their rivals.

18 years old ŠKODA youngster Oliver Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston started into the

ultimate test on their WRC3 debut with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo with a tiny lead of 1.1

seconds over former FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson (SWE, Volkswagen) and

co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR). But with the finish virtually in sight, Oliver Solberg was hit

by bad luck. He collected a puncture, the time loss of 1:53 minutes relegated him to fifth place in

the category.

The Finnish ŠKODA privateers Eerik Pietarinen/Miikka Anttila (ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo) finished

fourth in the WRC3 category. ŠKODA’s 2017 WRC2 Champion Pontus Tidemand (SWE) and codriver

Patrick Barth (SWE), driving a privately entered a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo of Toksport

WRT Team, conquered third position of the separate WRC2 category.

“Congratulations to the ŠKODA crews, who all made it to the finish line. We are happy, that among

the nine cars of the WRC3 category, seven were competing with a FABIA. I feel sorry for Oliver and

Aaron. Under the most difficult road conditions, they delivered a promising performance until

unfortunately a puncture cost them a possible podium position. We are now looking forward to the

next event in the cooperation between Oliver’s own team and us coming May in Portugal,” said

ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek.

Final Result Rally Sweden (WRC3)

1. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN), Hyundai i20 Rally2, 1:15:46.1 h.

2. Lindholm/Korhonen (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, +5.0 sec.

3. Kristoffersson/Skjærmoen (SWE/NOR), Volkswagen Polo GTI Rally2, +31.3 sec.

4. Pietarinen/Anttila (FIN/FIN), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, +1:12.2 min.

5. Solberg/Johnston (SWE/IRL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, +2:23.2 min.

Championship Standings WRC3 (after 2 of 13 rounds)

1. Eric Camilli (FRA), Citroën, and Jari Huttunen (FIN), Hyundai, 25 points

3. Nicolas Ciamin (FRA), Citroën, and Emil Lindholm (FIN), ŠKODA,18 points

Number of the day: 9

Nine ŠKODA crews started Rally Sweden, they all made it to the finish, seven of them among the

nine finishers in the WRC3 category for private teams.

The calendar of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship

Event Date

Monte-Carlo 23/01/–26/01/2020

Sweden 13/02/–16/02/2020

Mexico 12/03/–15/03/2020

Argentina 23/04/–26/04/2020

Portugal 21/05/–24/05/2020

Italy 04/06/–07/06/2020

Kenya 16/07/–19/07/2020

Finland 06/08/–09/08/2020

New Zealand 03/09/–06/09/2020

Turkey 24/09/–27/09/2020

Germany 15/10/–18/10/2020

Great Britain 29/10/–01/11/2020

Japan 19/11/–22/11/2020

Catherine Van Geel

PR Manager, D'Ieteren NV

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