Q&A with Team MRF Tyres driver, Emil Lindholm

This weekend sees a return to tarmac for Emil Lindholm. The Finnish star will rally his Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo for Team MRF Tyres. He comes into Fafe third in the ERC1 standings and just finished his season in the Finnish Rally Championship. A new rally, and one on tarmac for a driver more used to gravel. But how is he preparing and looking forward to the event? We talked with him.

Team MRF Tyres: First of all, Emil how was testing for you? What were you aiming to achieve?

Emil Lindholm: It went quite well, we were generally just a lot of different stuff and setups in the car. We are also looking at the weather forecast, as we’ll have an interesting rally to come with some rain. It’s a while since I’ve driven on tarmac. After rallying in Finland on gravel last week, I need to change the approach. Now, try to be as smooth as possible on the twisty road. So, it takes a while to get used to again.

Team MRF Tyres: This is also a new rally and a different sort of tarmac to what we had in Italy.

Emil Lindholm: It requires a completely different style. And you need to be smooth on tarmac. You need to be very careful with how you use the car and the tyres. It’s difficult to mix up from last week and what’s happening now. But we are getting there. We just need to do some more miles.

Team MRF Tyres: Does the temperature make a difference to you? This weekend it should be cool, even if it isn’t wet. If we remember Italy, with 40 degree days.

Emil Lindholm: We tested in the dry then we watered the road to get the feeling. Usually wet weather should be an opportunity, actually and could be a good thing for us. At least it will make it a bit more interesting! Considering the tyre, you need to have a different approach because the grip level is always lower in rain, and you need to have a softer car, which is able to deliver more mechanical grip from the road. It will be interesting.

Team MRF Tyres: With Team MRF Tyres you are here with the Skoda, Craig Breen with the Hyundai. How does your relationship work?

Emil Lindholm: For me, it works quite nicely. To be able to work with an experienced guy like him is super. We talk a lot of our car setup. During the rallies we talk about the strategy, and then how to how to attack, and what to do where. It’s incredible to that.

Team MRF Tyres: And that coming up this weekend. What are the expectations?

Emil Lindholm: Obviously, development is the overall goal. It’s a good rally. The stages are new but repeated three times each. So that repetition will help us gather more data. In Rome, we were able to do some top five stages times. I’m really hoping to be able to be in top five and aim to keep a similar pace with Craig but of course, the focus more on the tyre development and data collection.