Wed 09 Mar 2022

Daunting Saturday headlines revised Finland schedule

Secto Rally Finland organisers promise a ‘watershed’ Saturday containing more than 150km of flat-out action in the route for the August 4 - 7 event that was revealed on Wednesday.

Half the itinerary is new compared to last season’s fixture, which ran to an unusual three-day format in autumn due to Covid-19. About 10 per cent of the competitive distance has never featured in the central Finland WRC encounter.

“I really must take off my hat once again to our brilliant route planning team,” said deputy clerk of the course Kari Nuutinen. “This year’s WRC rally constitutes a return to ‘normal’.”

Thursday evening’s popular Harju stage, in the centre of host city Jyväskylä, has undergone a facelift with two laps of a revised route.

Friday’s first full day initially heads north for a double pass through the well-known Laukaa and Lankamaa stages. Lankamaa, at more than 21km, is the longest test of the rally.

“We’ll be making another return to world champion Juha Kankkunen’s backyard on the Lankamaa stage. Lankamaa is a special stage that has been much requested by rally fans and it is a great pleasure for us to be able to include it once again,” Nuutinen added.

A second running of Harju, this time comprising just one lap, leads into two runs of Ässämäki and Sahloinen-Moksi.

Saturday is a daunting challenge, based on famous rollercoaster roads near Jämsä. Päijälä, and Rapsula, which borrows tracks from the legendary Ouninpohja stage, are followed by Patajoki and the brand-new Vekkula. The quartet are driven twice.

Two runs through Oittila and the big jumps of Ruuhimäki, the second pass of which forms the points-paying Wolf Power Stage, bring round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship to a close on Sunday.

After being shut to fans last year due to the pandemic, the event will make greater use of the Paviljonki service park in Jyväskylä. Friday’s leg includes four service breaks.

“Since it now looks like we can once again offer our visitors excitement and entertainment in the normal manner, our aim was to increase the offer at Paviljonki as much as we could,” enthused Nuutinen.

Full route details here.

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