The first half of the WRC season has been fairly flat-out, but with round eight in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to catch up with some holiday plans and find out who’s going where.
Toyota Gazoo Racing trio Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke are a good place to start.
Championship leader Tänak stayed in the southern European sunshine after Rally Italy.
“Estonia’s great,” he said, “and the summers can be really hot like Spain, but sometimes they can also be a little bit like Wales! You need to be quite lucky with the weather at home, so going somewhere where the sunshine is guaranteed is really nice for the children. We have some family and friends with us as well, so it’s good – but this is really the only holiday for me.”
Like his team-mates, testing for Neste Rally Finland and ADAC Rallye Deutschland will get in the way of any longer holidays.
Meeke, however, is a man with a plan for a Finnish vacation ahead of Neste Rally Finland, an event he won in 2016.
“Straight after Italy I was back for a week in Ireland,” Meeke said. “Then I was in Finland for a day of testing; home for four days [in Andorra], then to Germany for a day of testing; home [in Andorra] for three days then back to Germany, home [in Andorra] for a week and then out to Finland for a fortnight in a cottage – just me, the family, a sauna and a big lake.”
Meeke’s looking forward to the break, but admits he might miss his bike and the hills and mountains of his home in Andorra. He might find a bike, but hills and mountains are harder to spot in the middle of Finland.
After a week in Rome, Latvala, too, is heading for the lakes of Finland. For J-ML, it’s the biggest of them all.
“I bought a new summer cottage last year,” he said. “It’s near Saimaa, the biggest lake in Finland. I’m looking forward to some time in the cottage.
“It’s funny, when you are away from everything in this kind of place, then you kind of go back to nature a little bit. You find things you have to do, working on the sauna or the fire for the sauna or something like that. There’s always something to be busy with and then some swimming and stuff. It’s going to be good to just get away to clear the head a little bit.
“In Finland we have the two months like this when we get the warm weather and the sun, we have to make the most out of this time.”