Finland countdown: rally route
Neste Rally Finland (1 - 4 August) promises plenty of fast and furious high-flying action as the WRC’s quickest round hits top gear – and stays there – this week.
• Visit Kakaristo hairpin on Saturday to enjoy great action and a brilliant atmosphere. For many years part of the legendary Ouninpohja, the junction is the focal point of the new Kakaristo test.
• Finland is all about jumps and they don’t come much bigger than Urria.
• Or maybe they do…..Ruuhimäki is the place to go on Sunday. It is famous for its sequence of big wide road yumps near the end, but the test closes with a monster of a jump. It puts a whole new meaning to the term ‘flying finish’!
• The party atmosphere. Jyväskylä is the ultimate rally town and no visit would be complete without a night out in one of the many bars in the main street. Drinks are not cheap though….
Smooth and blisteringly fast gravel roads, littered by stomach-churning jumps, lie in wait among central Finland’s forests and lakes around host city Jyväskylä.
The route features only subtle changes after last year’s heavily revised encounter and the traditional curtain-raiser, the city centre mixed surface Harju (2.31km) special stage, kicks-off the rally on Thursday evening in front of big crowds.
Drivers head west on Friday for a leg which features the same tests as last year, starting with Oittila (19.34km).
The quartet of Moksi (20.04km), Urria (12.28km), Ässämäki (12.33km) and a slightly revised Äänekoski (7.80km) are then run twice either side of service in Jyväskylä, before a repeat of Harju rounds out the day. They add up to 126.55km.
Saturday comprises almost 133km of relentless action, spanning more than 14 hours on roads around Jämsa. It includes the only new addition for 2019, Leustu (10.50km), which was last driven five years ago.
It completes a loop of four tests that also includes Pihlajakoski (14.42km), Päijälä (22.87km) and Kakaristo (18.70km), which features roads from the legendary Ouninpohja stage. All four morning tests are repeated in the afternoon after service.
Pihlajakoski begins with 10km never used before on Rally Finland, while Kakaristo has a new start last seen in 1997 and notorious for being the place where Markku Alén rolled his Lancia out of the lead in 1986.
Two runs of Laukaa (11.75km) and the big jumps of Ruuhimäki (11.12km) decide the rally on Sunday over 45.74km, with the second pass of Ruuhimäki forming the Wolf Power Stage and offering bonus points to the fastest five drivers.
The 23 stages add up to 307.22km.
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