Path To Brazil: Meet Toomas Heikkinen, Driver, OlsbergsMSE
Toomas Heikkinen had one of the more interesting seasons of all Global Rallycross drivers in 2012. Despite breaking his leg in a spectacular crash at X Games, the Finnish phenom came back after missing two races to score two consecutive top five finishes to end the year.
In the offseason, Heikkinen has been busy behind the wheel: he’s been running rally sprint races in his native Finland, finishing second overall twice in two events. He’ll return to OlsbergsMSE for the second consecutive season in 2013, taking on the full GRC schedule in his Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST.
Although as fast and determined as ever on the track, Heikkinen was happy to slow down (but not for too long) to answer some of our questions. Here are his thoughts on last season, returning to GRC in 2013, and what he’s like away from the track:
You’re one of the drivers returning to GRC from 2012. How would you rate your performance last season?
2012 was quite confusing. The speed was there, but we didn’t have any 100% performances. And of course the crash, that was why I missed two races.
You had top five finishes in each of your final two races last year after struggling early and suffering your injury at X Games. What was the key to helping you improve your results at the end of the season?
The speed was there whole year. We didn’t get clean runs on first races. The two last races were “OK” with crutches.
Have you adjusted your driving style at all between the start of last season and this one?
No, I’m the same guy. There is no change.
What are some of the biggest advantages you have in driving for OlsbergsMSE?
They’re working all day and all night. I have the best team and the best car. And I think this year nothing has changed.
Have you done any testing yet in your car for this year? How is the car better than last year?
I think we have found some small things. After the first race we will be more clever.
Are there any particular races on the schedule that you’re looking forward to this year?
I don’t have any particular race in mind. Wherever I go, I’m going to do my best.
What are your goals and expectations for this season?
Our goals are to stand in the middle. But like I said, after first race I really can say where we are.
Getting to know Toomas Heikkinen…
What’s on your iPod right now?
“From Side to Side”
Something that most people don’t know about you?
I won the US Rallycross race in New Jersey in 2010.
My favorite pre-race meal is:
If I could get one other driver in the world to join the GRC, I’d pick:
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
The Stig as well, he’s quiet enough!
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Learn to wake up. I love to sleep!
The last car I bought was a?
My best piece of advice for young drivers is:
Monkeys drive fast on the street.