Wed 02 Aug 2023

WRC Promoter extends Secto Rally Finland partnership

WRC Promoter has agreed to an extended deal with AKK Sports which confirms Secto Rally Finland’s place on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar until at least 2026.

Secto Rally Finland has been an integral part of the WRC since 1973 and remains one of the championship's most iconic fixtures. Today’s (2 August) milestone agreement ensures it will form part of the sport’s global calendar from 2024 to 2026.

This three-year extension with WRC Promoter has coincided with AKK putting pen to paper with both the City of Jyväskylä as host city and Secto Automotive as naming rights partner for the event. All three contracts were signed before the Ceremonial Start in Jyväskylä on Wednesday. It ensures complete stability for the growth and development of the event for many years to come.

Commenting on the renewed agreement, WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said: “The Finnish market holds immense significance for the WRC, and a season without a visit to the country's awe-inspiring rollercoaster roads is hard to imagine.

“This strategic decision aims to cultivate a harmonious and stable environment to promote the rally's growth and that of the entire WRC within this captivating arena.”

Finland is a hotbed of rallying talent. Jyväskylä local Kalle Rovanperä rewrote the history books in 2022 to become the youngest-ever world champion, just a day after his 22nd birthday. Another Finn, Emil Lindholm, is the reigning WRC2 champion whilst Sami Pajari became Finland’s first-ever FIA Junior WRC champion in 2021.

This factor, combined with Finns’ successes on the stages helps cultivate an unparalleled rallying fandom in the Nordic country with up to two million viewers following WRC each round on national broadcaster MTV's platforms.

“AKK Sports is delighted to have concluded this long-term agreement with WRC Promoter,” said AKK Sports chief operating officer Markus Häkkinen. “We share the same vision for the growth of the WRC as a whole, and believe that this agreement is mutually beneficial, because we can see the impact that the WRC has in Finland and the Jyvaskyla region in particular.”

Timo Koivisto, Mayor of City of Jyväskylä, added: “The agreement is of great importance for our city. There is a long tradition of organising rallies in Jyväskylä and the event is a source of pride for us all. In addition to this, studies have shown that the rallies have a significant economic impact on our region and the event also brings us a huge amount of international visibility. This is therefore a very special day for Jyväskylä.”

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