Neste Oil Rally Finland is the fastest round of the 13-event WRC season. It’s also one of the most spectacular and hardest to master, with tree-lined straights and blind crests frequently taken sideways at more than 100mph, providing the ultimate test of skill and commitment.
Bursting with ‘Sisu’ – a Finnish term loosely meaning strength of will and bloody-minded determination - local drivers excel here. In fact, since the world championship was established in 1973, only four non-Nordic drivers have won the event.
As well as the speed, trees and blind crests, Rally Finland, tests flying skills more than any other round of the WRC. The smooth gravel roads around the host city of Jyvaskyla are littered with stomach-churning jumps that launch cars into flights of more than 60 metres.
If you want to see what we mean, have a look at our wrc.com video preview.
This year’s rally is run over two and a half days and features 23 special stages over a competitive distance of 324.21 kilometres. There are three completely new stages – Torritu (SS2/4), Lankamaa (SS10/14) and Paina (SS19/23) which also closes the event as the Power Stage. Four stages are the same as last year while all others have amendments or new sections of road.
Following Wednesday evening’s Qualifying Stage - used to determine the running order among the WRC’s elite on day one - Thursday’s action kicks off at 1115hrs, when crews leave Jyvaskyla for six stages run without a service halt. The day’s competitive action draws to a close at the Killeri trotting track for the traditional superspecial stage at 2030hrs local time.
Friday and Saturday are both long days and include some of the most legendary Finish stages. Friday’s action begins at 0948hrs local time with the Jukojarvi stage, followed in quick succession by Palsankyla, Mokkipera and Lankamaa which, at 23.66km is the longest stage of the day. After service in Jyvaskyla, drivers repeat all four, and then round off the day with a second trip to Killeri.
Saturday’s route is based around the Jamsa region and consists of two passes of a loop of four stages: Surkee, Leustu, Painaa and the fearsome Ouninpohja, a 33km monster that remains the stuff of Rally Finland legend. The final test, the repeated Painaa, gets underway at 1740hrs.
We’ll bring you al the action from Jyvaskyla here on wrc.com, with a mix of news, stage summaries, videos and of course our WRC LIVE coverage. Follow this link for more details about our live broadcast schedule.
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