The style of Reeta Hämäläinen, who works as Emil Lindholm’s karter, was one of the topics of discussion at the Finnish World Cup Rally. However, there is a tough story in the background.

    Map reader Reeta Hämäläinen the world went black in 2019. At the time, 30-year-old Hämäläinen received a harsh diagnosis when she had been diagnosed with widespread breast cancer.

    – It was fucked up. There are no other words to describe it. It came when I was quite young, so yes, it hit me pretty hard.

    Hämäläinen’s experiences with cancer tell the essentials. A career in rallying was allowed to stay for almost a whole year.

    – It was a shitty year. The timing was also really inconvenient, because we had very good plans, and we also had to get to the World Rally Championship to drive a WRC class car, Hämäläinen recalls.

    – However, there was nothing we could do about it, and for me it also happened by chance.

    At first, the cancer seemed like fate when it couldn’t be operated on. However, treatments lasting half a year shrank the tumor enough that the surgery was finally successful.

    – We got rid of the cancer and now everything is fine, Hämäläinen is happy.

    Style

    After cancer, Hämäläinen has returned strongly to the rally tracks. In Jyväskylä, he was driving in the WRC2 class by Emil Lindholm as a karter, with whom he has been racing since last year.

    Hämäläinen has attracted attention with his personal reading style, in which sometimes even comic-sounding accents are emphasized.

    – My style has mostly been honed to this. We have established that it suits us very well, so let’s go with it, Hämäläinen opens.

    Hämäläinen and Lindholm have been a familiar sight in this season’s World Cup rallies. PDO

    You can see a sample of Hämäläinen’s map chapter from this link.

    – At least it’s not a boring style, so you won’t be able to fall asleep!

    This year, Lindholm and Hämäläinen have toured in the Škoda Fabia in both World Cup and Championship rallies. In Jyväskylä, they finally won the WRC2 class, when Teemu Suninen was rejected after the race.

    The duo is currently leading the WC series, and eight WC points have been accumulated after Jyväskylä.

    Women to the rally

    Hämäläinen is himself a second-generation type person, which is why he has become a map reader.

    – My father drove rallies when I was a child, and that’s how I slowly got into the sport.

    In rally car racing, which has been profiled as male, Hämäläinen has proven that women also have the opportunity to make a career in the sport.

    – Yes, the girls can do well here, and we’d be happy to take more.

    – It’s nice if you get people to follow the rally and get excited about it. It would be wonderful if you could act as some sort of example for young girls, Hämäläinen says.

    How does Hämäläinen herself feel about being one of the few women in the whirlwind of the rally?

    – I don’t really feel that gender matters here. Sure, this is a male-dominated sport, but we also have female mechanics in our team, and other teams also have women in different roles.

    In addition to Hämäläinen, Jyväskylä also serves as female carters Enni Mälkönen and Summer Nisula. Female drivers have not been seen in the Finnish World Rally Championship for many years.

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