Emil Lindholm of Finland and Kajetan Kajetanowicz of Poland, both driving Skoda FABIA Rally2 evo cars, had a mathematical chance to beat WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen in the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Japan. Mikkelsen had been in the lead since the beginning of the season.
Lindholm and his co-driver, Reeta Hämäläinen, jumped out to an early lead in the WRC2 standings. Sami Pajari and Enni Mälkönen, drivers for Toksport WRT, momentarily led after one particular stage on Friday. On Sunday morning, the two Finnish sailors maintained their commanding lead. Things were the same up until it started to rain heavily. Pajari/Mälkönen lost a lot of time and ultimately their second-place finish because they used tires unsuited to the exceedingly challenging conditions. The WRC2 season ended with a fifth-place finish for you. Although they spun their Skoda FABIA Rally2 evo on the previous-to-last stage, Lindholm and Hämäläinen could continue in the race without any mechanical issues. But the delay was almost a minute. Finally, Lindholm slowed down and decreased the danger. The Finns' third-place WRC2 finish was good enough to give Lindholm the driver's championship. Co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen takes first place in the WRC2 co-drivers standings.
Lindholm's second season championship; he also won the WRC2 Juniors Championship earlier this year. "It will take me some time to get used to this success." Indeed, these are trying times. Those who have helped us along the way have my undying appreciation. "The fruits of their confidence are now apparent," the 26-year-old Finn stated. With the help of his teammates on the Toksport WRT team, Lindholm was able to dethrone Andreas Mikkelsen as the WRC2 champion. The reigning champion from Norway had to skip the Rally Japan so that he would only do seven rallies before the championship.
With only two stages remaining, Kajetan Kajetanowicz's bid for the WRC2 drivers' championship was doomed. Maciej Szczepaniak, a former European champion and co-driver, hit a wall as they emerged through the stunning Isegami Tunnel. As a result, the Skoda FABIA Rally2 evo driven by the ORLEN team sustained damage that could not be remedied immediately. I've already gambled too much at this point. In a championship match, however, you have to take chances. "Sorry, but today was not our lucky day," Kajetanowicz stated. "I am content, though. So far this season, I have finished third in the standings for WRC2 drivers. "For such a tiny group, we achieved remarkable success."
Toksport WRT, backed by Skoda, won the WRC2 team classification thanks to the points scored by Mikkelsen and Lindholm during the season and by Lindholm and Pajari at the Rally Japan. The Nürburgring affiliate's second squad finished the year in third place in the team standings.
The driver of a Skoda FABIA Rally2 evo also won the inaugural 2022 WRC2 Masters class championship for drivers aged 50 and up. Skoda customer team Dream One Racing often fields Italian drivers Mauro Miele and Luca Beltrame in the series. They switched to Toksport WRT because of logistics concerns and won their third class at Rally Japan. This was the result that put them first instead of the German Skoda driver Armin Kremer.
Another driver who generated a sensation was a former Formula One competitor. Heikki Kovalainen, a 2008 Grand Prix winner and seasoned rally driver, The 41-year-old Finn, and his co-driver, Sae Kitagawa, of the Aicello team's Skoda FABIA Rally2 evo have just won the Japanese championship. The team's attempt at the FIA World Rally Championship resulted in an impressive fourth-place finish in WRC2. "Wow, what an adventure! Someday I will be able to do that more regularly." After the race, Kovalainen grinned with pride.