*Organisers maximise competitive action with exciting sprint-style format
*FIA World Rally Championship event to run over three days from October 1-3
*New tests added, previous classics revisited for milestone edition
*Stages after sunset provide added intrigue and challenge
Rally Finland will turn 70 in style this October with a high-paced, high-speed gravel spectacular made up of 19 stages over a competitive distance of 287.11 kilometres.
From October 1-3, the famous forests around host city Jyväskylä will form the backdrop to Finland’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, which has been designed to recreate the spirit of the first Rally Finland, run in the autumn of 1951 as the Jyväskylän Suurajot.
Although the action will be contained over three days rather than the traditional four, organisers AKK Sports are not compromising on the challenge on offer to the crews, nor the entertainment available to the fans by delivering an exciting and packed itinerary.
Of the stages returning from 2019, only Harju, Laukaa and Ruuhimäki are unchanged to further spice up the competition. A national event is planned for Saturday October 2, with the possibility of welcoming historic cars to the entry list to mark Rally Finland’s 70th anniversary.
Kai Tarkiainen, Clerk of the Course, Rally Finland, said: “We’re very pleased to announce the route of the 70th anniversary Rally Finland. It has been designed to fit completely the new autumn date and the team behind it has worked very hard to meet all the needs set out by the stakeholders and the expectations of the fans. Although we’re running over three days rather than four, we’ve ensured there will be as many stages and competitive kilometres as possible. Like we do every year, we have made several changes to the itinerary to keep things fresh and fun. The route has been completed in line with national and regional restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and can be modified at short notice, should any changes be necessary. Running the event without fans isn’t something we can do so we are all hopeful the continued rollout of the vaccination programme and all the other steps being taken will ensure the rally goes ahead as planned and we remain confident this will be the case.”
RALLY FINLAND ROUTE EXPLAINED
Day one: Friday October 1
Stages: 6 (SS1-6) Stage distance: 89.42 km Liaison distance: 203.12 km Total distance: 292.54 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:24 / 18:48
Shakedown is up first from 08:01 local time on Friday October 1, utilising the same Vesala stage from 2019 but run in the opposite direction. Following the start at the Paviljonki in Jyväskylä, the legendary Harju city stage, the rally’s shortest at 2.31 kilometres, marks the beginning of the battle for victory from 13:30. Crews head southwest of Jyväskylä for two runs through Ässämäki (12.31 kilometres, SS2/SS4), which was used in the opposite direction in 2019, are scheduled either side of the first pass of Sahloinen-Moksi (21.37 kilometres). Following a Tyre Fitting Zone and remote refuel in Petäjävesi, a second visit to Sahloinen-Moksi (SS5), which includes sections unused since 2010, is scheduled from 18:06. The 19.75-kilometre Oittila test (SS6) east of Päijänne completes the 89.12-kilometre leg one itinerary from 19:08 and will run in the dark.
Day two: Saturday October 2
Stages: 9 (SS7-15) Stage distance: 151.95 km Liaison distance: 422.21 km Total distance: 574.16 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:27 / 18:44
Leg two, located south of Jyväskylä and the longest of the rally at 151.95 kilometres, is made up of four stages either side of service at the Paviljonki followed by a return to Harju at 20:00. The day begins with the first of two passes of the 18.17-kilometre Kakaristo-Hassi stage (SS7/SS11) from 08:16. Featuring sections of the iconic Ouninpohja stage, Kakaristo-Hassi gets a new start and finish with the latter last used in 2011. Päijälä (SS8/SS12) ran to a similar layout in 2016 and covers 22.61 kilometres. Sections of the new 13.49-kilometre Arvaja test (SS9/SS13) date back to 1994. Patajoki (SS10/SS14) is another new stage, although parts of the 20.55-kilometre run through narrow and technical forestry roads, appeared on the itinerary between 2002 and 2010 as part of the familiar Vaheri and Himos stages.
Day three: Sunday October 3
Stages: 4 (SS16-19) Stage distance: 45.74 km Liaison distance: 146.79 km Total distance: 192.53 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:30 / 18:41
The battle for Rally Finland glory takes crews north of Jyväskylä for the 11.75-kilometre Laukaa test (SS16/SS18) with the second run of Ruuhimäki (SS17/SS19) forming the points-paying Wolf Power Stage from 13:18. Located east of the hosty city, Ruuhimäki is 11.12 kilometres in length and finishes at the spectacular Laukaa-Arena where the podium ceremony will be held. Along with Harju, Laukaa and Ruuhimäki are the only parts of the route unchanged from 2019.
RALLY FINLAND ROUTE IN NUMBERS
287.11: Competitive distance in kilometres
19: Rally Finland’s 70th anniversary route is made up of 19 special stages
22.61: Päijälä is the longest stage of the rally at 22.61 kilometres in length
2.31: In contrast, the mixed-surface Harju city stage, at 2.31 kilometres is the shortest
20:00: The second visit to Harju on October 2 gets underway at 20:00 local time
You can find the itinerary of Rally Finland in the "Competitors" section of our website.
More information and media activities:
Linda Hirvonen, National Press Officer, +358 (0) 45 3299696, [email protected]