Finland regions

WRC stars prepare for rollercoaster ride in Finland

More lightning-fast, super-smooth gravel stages await when the FIA ​​World Rally Championship heads to Finland next week (August 4-7) for round eight of the 2022 season.

After the counter in WRC Estonia in mid-July, Rally Finland offers more high-speed thrills with the country’s forest roads akin to a ride on a rollercoaster thanks to a generous portion of corners, bends, dips and crests.

The founding round of the WRC in 1973, Rally Finland celebrated its 70th anniversary last year when the event was moved to an unknown October slot due to restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning to its more traditional date of early August, but with a route changed by around 50% from 2021, this year’s Rally Finland takes on added importance with the hybrid-based Rally1 technical regulations representing the future of sports.

And that the future of the WRC looks very promising in Finland where the emergence of Kalle Rovanperä, 21, feeds the hopes of a 15e Finnish WRC Drivers title for this established driver talent factory.

Co-driven by fellow countryman Jonne Halttunen, Rovanperä has won five of the seven rounds contested so far this season to create an 83-point championship lead for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.

While a sixth victory in 2022 on home soil would be a huge and difficult feat to accomplish given their limited experience compared to their rivals, this rally-mad nation expects a lot from its young star, especially in the Rally host city of Finland. Jyväskylä, which counts the locally-born Rovanperä as one of its own.

Nevertheless, Marcus Grönholm remains the most successful driver of the WRC era of Rally Finland thanks to his total of seven victories. The late Hannu Mikkola also triumphed seven times, although three of his victories predated the advent of the World Rally Championship.

Until Carlos Sainz’s victory in 1990, no driver from outside the Nordic region had ever claimed victory at the event, which was called the Jyväskylän Suurajot (Finnish Grand Prix) when he was first held in 1951. However, there was no Finnish pilot. winners since 2017 with Estonia and Wales celebrating victories since then.

For this year’s Rally Finland, Pirelli, the WRC’s official tire supplier, will supply its soft and hard Scorpion KX tyres. The soft compound is the first choice and is ideal when cool and wet conditions prevail. The second choice hard option is chosen in hot and dry weather. A maximum of 28 tires may be used by teams driving Rally1 cars, including four for Shakedown.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem will take part in Rally Finland as a guest of the Finnish ASN, AKK.

THE 2022 COURSE

The Rally Finland organizing team has produced a route changed by around 50% from 2021, with 10% of the route untested in the WRC.

Thursday’s shakedown stage represents uncharted territory for a number of competitors, with the Rannankylä stage not having been used since 2010.

The Harju Stage in Central Jyväskylä will also be unheard of due to a changed layout. Crews tackle two laps of the revised course on Thursday evening before the one-lap version on Friday afternoon.

The Harju replay will follow an exciting Friday morning loop that includes the famous Lankamaa stage, which returns in the opposite direction to where it was last used in 2017. The 21.69 kilometer test, which must be used twice during Friday’s opening stage, is also notable as it is the longest stage of the rally.

Rapsula and Vekkula are new stages for 2022 although both feature familiar routes. Rapsula features the famous Kakaristo hairpin, which was once part of the iconic Ouninpohja stage, while Vekkula contains sections of the old Leustu and Ehikki tracks.

While Ruuhimäki, with its many jumps, is once again the setting for the rally’s decisive Power Stage on Sunday, Oittila moves on to the final day of the event scheduled for Friday in 2021.

RALLY DATA

Stage distance: 322.61 km

Total distance: 1427.47 km

Number of floors: 22

RALLY CONTAINERS1

Twelve Rally1 cars are part of the Rally Finland team, which is led by FIA World Rally Championship leaders Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen.

The Finns are joined in the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team by last year’s winners Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm, who took their first and, to date, only WRC victory in Finland in 2017. Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston competes in a fourth Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 entered by Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG.

Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe are the best placed in the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team. Finnish double winners Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and third-named drivers Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson also compete in Hyundai i20 N Rally1s.

Craig Breen/Paul Nagle, who lead the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team challenge, claimed their first WRC podium in Finland in 2016 and repeated the feat last season. They are joined by Adrien Fourmax/Alexandre Coria, Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson and Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais to rely on the power of the Ford Puma Rally1. Meanwhile, Jari Huttuen/Mikkko Lukka are leaving WRC2 to drive a Puma in their home round of the championship for the first time.

SUPPORT CATEGORIES

The popularity of the FIA ​​WRC2 class is once again demonstrated by a 17-driver squad with a host of local heroes including Toksport WRT driver Emil Lindholm (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) and Hyundai Motosport N’s Teemu Suninen (Hyundai i20N Rally2). Former WRC winner Hayden Paddon of New Zealand is set for his second start since his recent return to the championship in Estonia. FIA European Rally Championship graduates Nikolay Gryazin and Miko Marczyk are also entered and eligible for WRC2 Junior points. Estonians Egon Kaur and Georg Linnamaë (ALM Motorsport) driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 are also in the running, while 2021 FIA Junior WRC Championship winner Sami Pajari will be one to watch despite his inexperience at Rally2 level. The young Finns from Pajari, Toni Herranen and Lauri Joona, are among the contenders for the FIA ​​WRC3. Kimi Räikkönen’s nephew, Justus, will be 17 years, four months and 25 days old when Rally Finland begins on August 4, making him the youngest driver in the event’s history.

MEDIA ACCREDITATION

Media accreditation must be collected in person by accredited pass holders at the Accreditation Desk, located in the Sokos Hotel Alexandra Keljo conference room. Address: Hannikaisenkatu 35, 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland.

The following opening hours apply:

Tuesday August 2: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday August 3: 09:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Thursday August 4: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday August 5: 07:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The media center is located in Auditorium A1 (Wilhelm), Rally HQ, Jyväskylä Paviljonki.

Messukatu 10, 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland.

The following opening hours apply:

Tuesday August 2: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday August 3: 09:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Thursday August 4: 07h00 – 24h00

Friday, August 5: 6:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Saturday August 6: 06h00 – 24h00

Sunday August 7: 07:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

RALLY FINLAND 2022 TIMETABLES AND MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Wednesday August 3
FIA Tabard Media Safety Briefing, Photographers Room, Rally Headquarters 5:00 p.m.
Team media functions (contact teams directly for more information) From 5:30 p.m.
Thursday August 4
Shakedown for P1 and guest drivers, Rannankylä, 4.48 km 09h01-10h00
Shakedown for P1, P2 and P3 drivers, Rannankylä, 4.48 km 10h01-11h30
Shakedown for non-priority riders, Rannankylä, 4.48 km 11h31-13h00
Meet the crews, service park 12:00 p.m.
FIA pre-event press conference, Media Center* 12:30-1:15 p.m.
Start of the rally, service park 6:45 p.m.
friday august 5
Beginning of section 2 06:55
Meet the crews, service park Flexi-Service D
Saturday August 6
Beginning of Section 5 06:05
Meet the crews, service park Flexi-Service G
Sunday August 7
Beginning of Section 7 07:15
Podium ceremony, service park 4:00 p.m.
FIA Post-Event Press Conference, Media Center* 4:45 p.m.

MEDIA AREAS

All Priority Drivers must be available for media interviews at the following times:

TC3A, TC6A, TC10A, TC14A, TC18A, TC22B

PARTICIPATION IN THE FIA PRESS CONFERENCE

Thursday August 4

12:30 p.m. – FIA WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team – Oliver Solberg (SWE), Hyundai i20 N Rally1

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – Jari Huttunen (FIN), Ford Puma Rally1

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Kalle Rovanperä (FIN), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG – Takamoto Katsuta (JPN), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

12:45 p.m. – FIA WRC2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Toksport WRT2 – Emil Lindholm (FIN), Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Hyundai Motorsport N – Fabrizio Zaldivar (PRY), Hyundai i20 N Rally2

Enni Mälkönen (FIN) – co-driver of Sami Pajari, Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

12:55 – FIA WRC3 AND NON-PRIORITY CHAMPIONSHIP

Lauri Joona (FIN), Ford Fiesta Rally3

Toni Herranen (FIN), Ford Fiesta Rally3

Justus Raikkonen (FIN), Peugeot 208 Rally4

Sunday August 7

FIA WRC3 Championship winning driver

FIA WRC2 Championship winning driver

The first three drivers in the general classification

Representative of the winning manufacturer

MANUFACTURER COMMITMENTS TO RALLY FINLAND 2022

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Kalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttunen (FIN) – #69
Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR) – #33
Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN) – #4
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Martin Wydaeghe (BEL) – #11
Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST) – #8
Oliver Solberg (SWE) / Elliott Edmondson (GBR) – #2
M-Sport Ford WRT Craig Breen (IRL) / Paul Nagle (IRL) – #42
Gus Greensmith (GBR) / Jonas Andersson (SWE) – #44
Adrien Fourmaux (FRA) / Alexandre Coria (FRA) – #16

2022 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS

The provisional classification at the end of the seventh round of the 2022 season of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship is available on this link: https://www.fia.com/events/world-rally-championship/season-2022/ standings

2021 RALLY FINLAND RESULTS

1Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin Toyota Yaris WRC 2h19m13.7s
2 Ott Tänak/ Martin Järveoja Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +14.1s
3 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +42.2s

RECENT WINNERS*

2021Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin Toyota Yaris WRC
2019 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC
2018 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja Toyota Yaris WRC
2017 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC
2016Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle Citroen DS3 WRC
*Rally Finland 2020 canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic