Finland countdown:
Rally route

The WRC’s summer speedfest delivers another weekend of fast and furious action as Finland hosts an encounter affectionately known to locals as the Finnish Grand Prix.

Neste Rally Finland (27 - 30 July) is one of the championship’s jewels in the crown. The smooth and blisteringly quick gravel roads, allied with stomach churning jumps, ensure this fixture is a challenge fit for the brave only.

Pinpoint accuracy in the preparation and delivery of pace notes is essential as cars fly from jump to jump, the blind crests usually hiding a corner on the landing side.

The university town of Jyväskylä has witnessed many a thrilling encounter among the picturesque forests and lakes nearby and again hosts this ninth round of the season.

It begins in customary manner with the asphalt Harju street stage in the town centre on Thursday evening.

Friday brings the arrival of gravel in a daunting day comprising nearly 16 hours at the wheel and more than 145km of action.

A quickfire double loop of three stages west of the town includes the famous jump in Urria, before an early afternoon service allows drivers to catch their breath. The afternoon holds five more tests to the north ahead of a day-ending repeat of Harju.

On Saturday fans can enjoy the same wide roads and big jumps of the Jämsä region that were driven in 2016. It could be the decisive day of the rally.

The classic Ouninpohja, Päijälä and Pihlajakoski run in the opposite direction to last year, the former finishing just after the spectacular hairpin in the Kakaristo fields. Saalahti follows the same route and all are tackled twice.

Sunday’s finale features two loops of Lempää and Oittila, south of Jyväskylä. The second pass through Oittila forms the live TV Power Stage, with bonus points for the fastest five competitors.

The 25 stages cover 314.20km of competition in a route of 1425.96km.

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