Topi Heikkinen back fighting with mega points haul in Austria

Topi Heikkinen had a strong showing at the MJP Arena in Austria, but ultimately came up short in a bid to become the first driver to complete a weekend sweep of main event wins.

After failing to stand atop of the podium in Portugal last month, the Finn dominated Saturday’s races. However a switch in strategy for round eight on Sunday left him starting on the backfoot. Nevertheless he was still able to finish on the podium and come away with more points than any other driver over the course of the weekend – something that may well prove to be vital in the title fight as the season winds down.

“After everything I think we need to be happy,” he said after the round eight final. “We scored the most points from this weekend, I was the best guy scoring the most points so if you look at that we need to be really happy.”

“Yesterday (Saturday) we had a really good day, everything went as we planned, and today we started with a different strategy – we chose to still use the old tyres from yesterday and in the semi-final we put the new ones on and I thought that we could win the semi and then the final but we had a bit of bad luck,” he added. “My car got broken, the steering wheel was a centimetre to the right because of the contact in turn one so I didn’t have enough pace to catch them because the car was a bit hard to drive.”

The damage came after Heikkinen and Kevin Hansen made contact in the opening lap of the final. While Hansen got away unscathed, the incident bent Heikkinen’s steering, leaving him battling to keep up with the leading pair.

“For sure I would [have caught them],” Heikkinen said when asked if the damage prevented him from mounting a realistic challenge for the win. “I guess I was missing a few tenths from the lap but it’s hard to say right now, but I felt in the car that it wasn’t a hundred percent, it was missing something because the steering wheel was pointing to the right.”

Looking ahead to the final two rounds of the season, Heikkinen pointed out that the double points finale at the Estering in Germany will prove to be the most decisive event of the season, but before that he’s looking forward to heading to Nyirad in Hungary, a track he describes as “one of the best in the world”.

„If you look at the rules and how the points are, I think Estering will be the most important event,” he said. “But still there is Nyirad coming next which is one of the craziest [tracks] so anything can happen. It’s difficult to say at the moment that we’re going to nail it.”

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