WRC stars past and present will go head-to-head in a race through the streets of Helsinki one week before Finland’s round of the championship starts on July 31st.
The ‘Neste Oil Rally Helsinki Battle’ will mark the 20th anniversary of the oil company’s sponsorship of Rally Finland and will be based in the Hietalahti area of the Finnish capital.
The entry list of current WRC drivers includes Mads Ostberg from Citroën, Thierry Neuville and Juho Hänninen from Hyundai, and Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala from Volkswagen. Each will drive their 2014-spec world rally cars, to be run from a service hub in Hietalahti.
Going up against them will be a team of Finnish rally legends including Markku Alen and former multiple champions Juha Kankkunen, Marcus Grönholm and Tommi Mäkinen.
“In organizing this event Neste Oil wants to bring rallying closer to the capitol’s citizens,” said Neste Oil marketing director Sirpa Tuomi.
“It has been fantastic to see the great reception the event has received from both today’s leading rally teams and the legendary drivers who have agreed to take part. The fact that the city authorities have also been so excited about the event has also been great, and they have offered us a unique location to stage it.”
The Mayor of Helsinki, Jussi Pajunen, has agreed to act as patron of the event, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of spectators.