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Fri 07 Jul 2023

Entry List: Secto Rally Finland

A six-year-high 68-car entry will assemble in Jyväskylä for Secto Rally Finland next month, round nine of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship.

The fabled fixture, often billed the ‘Finnish Grand Prix’, takes place from 3 - 6 August and has attracted its highest entry in recent years. The list includes no less than nine top-level hybrid-powered Rally1 cars, 36 Rally2 cars and 14 Rally3 cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s four-strong entry is headed by championship leader Kalle Rovanperä, searching for his first home victory in a GR Yaris. Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta complete the points-scoring trio while team principal Jari-Matti Latvala, who has not competed at this level since 2020, makes a stunning comeback alongside fellow Finn Juho Hänninen in the fourth car.

There are changes at Hyundai Motorsport, too, as local ace Teemu Suninen makes his Rally1 debut aboard one of the squad’s i20 N cars. The 29-year-old teams up with Esapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville in a three-pronged attack. M-Sport Ford, meanwhile, fields two Puma Rally1 cars for Ott Tänak and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

WRC2 entries include defending champion Emil Lindholm, who debuts a Hyundai i20 N Rally2, as well as current championship frontrunners Yohan Rossel (Citroën C3) and Oliver Solberg (Škoda Fabia RS).

Roope Korhonen heads the Rally3 contingent, although the Finn may potentially upgrade to Rally2 machinery should he seal the WRC3 championship title later this month at Rally Estonia (20 - 23 July).

Kai Tarkiainen, Secto Rally Finland Clerk of the Course, said: “We’ve made a big step in terms of entry numbers, which is very good news for the fans because it gives them even more entertainment on the stages, and this is really important.

“It’s also good for us, as organisers, that more competitors are coming to the event than before because it shows the popularity of our rally and the championship as a whole.”

Finland’s smooth and blisteringly quick gravel roads, buried among forests and lakes, are characterised by massive stomach-churning jumps. It is the fastest round on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar and the one which every driver wants to win.