Finland countdown: Rally route

Neste Rally Finland (26-29 July) is set to deliver another dose of exhilarating action when the WRC roars back into life after a seven-week break this weekend.

As one of the most fearsome and iconic rallies on the calendar, crews will tackle 23 mostly gravel stages through forest tracks centred around the city of Jyväskylä in the Finnish Lakeland.

The action begins on Thursday night with the 2.31km Harju stage that runs in downtown Jyväskylä.

Thursday (26 July) – WRC+ Live Stream from 19:00 until 21:00 local rally time (UTC+3)

Friday’s stages take the crews into the forests to the west of the service park where they will tackle 10 stages and 126.37 competitive kilometres.

The day starts with a loop of four stages. The 20.04km Moksi test kicks off the action, before crews then tackle the 12.28km Urria test. The final stages in the loop are new additions to the route: Ässämäki (12.33km) and Äänekoski (7.71km).

All four stages are repeated in the afternoon, after the heavily revised Oittila stage (19.34km) which served as the Live TV Power Stage in 2017. The day ends with a second run through the Harju stage.

Friday (27 July) – WRC+ Live Stream from 07:15 until 21:15 local rally time (UTC+3)

Saturday’s schedule features eight stages and 142.86 competitive kilometres. The morning loop, that is repeated again in the afternoon, comprises the Päijälä (23.92km), Pihlajakoski (14.90km) and Kakaristo (23.66km) tests. The final stage in the loop is Tuohikotanen (8.95km), which features some roads that were last used 12 years ago.

Saturday (28 July) – WRC+ Live Stream from 07:30 until 21:30 local rally time (UTC+3)

Two stages run twice make up the final day of action on Sunday. The 11.74km Laukaa test is brand new, while the Live TV Power Stage Ruuhimäki (11.12km) has been revised, with opening and closing sections that have never been used before. The total distance during the final leg is 45.72 competitive kilometres.

Sunday (29 July) – WRC+ Live Stream from 07:30 until 14:45 local rally time (UTC+3)

Top highlights:

  • The jumps. Rally Finland is known for its rollercoaster-like crests and jumps and this year is no exception. The Urria jump is big – but the stage-ending jump on the Ruuhimäki test is a ‘monster’ according to organisers.

  • Kakaristo’s hairpin is the place to visit on Saturday. The tricky junction has caught out many a driver in the past when it was part of the legendary Ouninpohja test, just ask Craig Breen (who stars in the video below). This year, it’s the highlight of the stage.

  • Jyväskylä’s party atmosphere. It’s the ultimate rally town and it’s a missed opportunity not to check out some of the bars on the main street. Be warned though, drinks are not cheap.

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