Canceled final yr in opposition to the backdrop of a well being disaster, Rally Finland is lastly making its return to the World Championship on an unprecedented autumn date (a primary since 1973). Final April, AKK Sports activities, the organizer of the occasion, opted to postpone its traditional date in the midst of summer time to keep away from the brand new assaults of the well being disaster and an incompatible digital camera for the occasion. celebrating its 70th version.
This week, Jyväskylä lastly welcomes the tenth spherical of the 2021 calendar by having received its guess for the reason that public will likely be allowed on the sting of the 19 specials scheduled for a complete of 287.11 kilometers.
Just like the Arctic Rally Finland (already organized by AKK Sports activities) or extra just lately the Ypres Rally, the format adopted this weekend is cut up over three days of racing with the shakedown happening on the opening on Friday morning. After this final check session, the rally will actually begin with six phases together with the brief Harju (2.31 km) drawn within the streets of Jyväskylä earlier than heading in the direction of the forests additional west. Oittila and its 19.75 km will come to shut this primary day at evening, a primary in Finland since 1994. With its 151.95 km traced round Jämsä, the second stage will even have an excellent tempo with 9 specials and a brutal begin in Kakaristo-Hassi taking over parts of the emblematic part of Ouninpohja. Päijälä and its 22.61 km would be the longest particular of the weekend and Harju will as soon as once more end the day at evening. Sunday will likely be way more digestible (45.74 km) with two passages within the timed sectors of Laukka and Ruuhimäki, the latter additionally serving as a Energy Stage.
At such excessive latitudes, autumn was not late within the numerous forests positioned within the Jyväskylä area. Historically held between July and August below a mercury that may significantly exceed 30 levels, the occasion will look very completely different this weekend. Whereas morning frosts are to not be dominated out, humidity ought to actually scale back sweeping for the primary crews on the roads which will likely be lined with timber with fiery robes. A lot in order that the rally has already discovered a brand new nickname by being renamed, for the reason that recognitions, because the Rallye à un “billion” colors. The opposite key issue to contemplate right now of yr is dusk. On this area of the globe, the times lose almost ten minutes of sunshine each day, which signifies that the primary two phases will finish at evening, sufficient so as to add just a little extra uncertainty to an occasion that won’t fail!
43 crews will take the beginning of the second Finnish spherical of the WRC 2021. Among the many 10 WRCs entered at first, the presence of Esapekka Lappi inside the Toyota line-up is an occasion because it marks the return of the Finn within the class. queen after ten months of absence on the highest degree. A declared candidate for a wheel within the Yaris Rally1 Hybrid for 2022, the winner of Rally Finland 2017 is logically aiming for a superb consequence to persuade and tip the scales in his favor. After his withdrawal in Greece following the household imperatives of Keaton Williams (the co-driver changing Dan Barritt recovering from Estonia), Takamoto Katsuta is aligned this time with Aaron Johnston, the previous co-driver of Oliver Solberg. After his two podiums signed in Estonia and Ypres, Craig Breen additionally returns to the Hyundai crew whereas M-Sport once more traces up two Ford Fiesta WRCs for Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux, the Frenchman beginning a brand new collaboration this weekend with Alex Coria spent particularly by the WRC3.
In WRC2, Mads Østberg has the sector free within the absence of his two championship rivals Andreas Mikkelsen, current this weekend on the ERC spherical in Fafe, Portugal, and Marco Bulacia. The Norwegian is nevertheless against an excellent competitors with particularly Oliver Solberg, Nikolay Gryazin and even Teemu Suninen current on the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo R5. WRC3 appears to be promised to native drivers, Yohan Rossel and Kajetan Kajetanowicz being absent.
The pilot to observe
Unsurprisingly, Kalle Rovanperä is taken into account the person to beat this weekend in Finland. Though he has by no means competed within the occasion with a WRC, the younger driver, who will likely be celebrating his 21st birthday this Friday, has been in good form for 3 rallies. Relieved of the stress of a primary victory since final July and his success in Estonia, the Toyota driver has since impressed with a exceptional efficiency in Ypres ended on a podium (third) and a second irreproachable victory in Greece. On the wheel of a Yaris WRC actually designed and unbeatable on these roads, the Finn has all of the playing cards in hand to take a brand new step in his younger profession and develop into the brand new nationwide hero.
The quantity to recollect
eight because the variety of occasions Rally Finland is within the high 10 quickest occasions in WRC historical past. The “Finnish Grand Prix”, as it’s typically referred to as by observers, throws the scorers right into a panic yearly with spectacular averages on these slim and bumpy tracks. Earlier than giving option to the Rally1 Hybrids, the present technology of WRC is in an excellent place for the reason that final three editions are all enthroned on this classification. Lappi and his victory in 2017 are second with a mean of 126.16km / h. Tänak occupies the seventh and ninth positions together with his respective victories in 2019 (122.57 km / h) then in 2018 (122.48 km / h). Though being the quickest WRCs for the reason that creation of the World Championship in 1973, the “honorary” document nonetheless goes to Kris Meeke who then swallowed the 2016 version at 126.62 km / h behind the wheel of the Citroën DS3 WRC.