Mon 31 Jul 2023

Rally Rewind: Finland 2022

As excitement builds ahead of Secto Rally Finland (3 - 6 August), we reflect on what was a pulsating 2022 fixture for one of the jewels in the FIA World Rally Championship’s crown.

1. Triumphant Tänak
Victory at any WRC round is a fantastic achievement. Winning in Finland, which as the oft-used tag goes, is regarded as the spiritual home of rallying, is even more special. Triumphing there three times? Well, it doesn’t get much better.

For Ott Tänak, his third success in Jyväskylä was a masterpiece in bravery and determination. Driving a Hyundai i20 N which he did not feel fully comfortable behind the wheel of, Tänak virtually led the rally from start to finish and kept a charging Kalle Rovanperä at bay to win by just 6.8sec.

It marked Hyundai Motorsport’s first Finnish victory since it joined the FIA World Rally Championship almost 10 years prior. 

2. Toyota rocked
The icing on Hyundai’s cake was the fact it defeated arch-rivals Toyota Gazoo Racing on the GR Yaris manufacturer squad’s home soil.

Not only was Toyota fielding two all-Finnish crews with Kalle Rovanperä and Esapekka Lappi, but its workshops are also located just a stone’s throw away from the Jyväskylä service park.

 3. Lappi’s rescue mission
When Esapekka Lappi arrived to the SS21 stop line after rolling, the state of his Toyota’s bodywork was the least of his worries… Instead, the coolant pouring from its damaged radiator was of greater concern.

Rallying is all about adapting. Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm grabbed some metal epoxy from their toolkit and set about filling the hole. As fate would have it, the pair were right next to a lake which they used to top up the radiator and their water pouches.

The temporary repair held and enabled the GR Yaris duo to secure a well-earned podium.

4. Suninen’s success turns sour
Teemu Suninen finished the rally thinking he’d notched up his first WRC2 victory of the season - but things turned sour for the Finn when he was disqualified from the results a few hours later.

Event stewards found that, in post-event scrutineering, the weight of the front bumper on Suninen's Hyundai was measured at 3,931g. That was below the minimum allowed weight of 4,510g required to comply with homologation.

His disqualification meant that Emil Lindholm, who finished 7.7sec behind in the rally, took home maximum points.

5. Huttunen’s debut
Home hero Jari Huttunen made his top-level FIA World Rally Championship debut aboard a rented M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1.

The 2020 WRC3 champion posted a promising fourth-best time through Friday’s Harju 2 but his hopes of a strong result were stymied by fuel pressure and power steering issues. He eventually finished ninth overall and has been limited to sporadic WRC2 outings since.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM