WRC 2017: Rally Finland at a glance (+itinerary)

WRC 2017: Rally Finland at a glance (+itinerary)

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Created in 1951, the ‘Jyväskylä Grand Prix’ quickly changed its name to the ‘1,000 Lakes Rally’ and acquired its international reputation. Part of the World Championship calendar since the WRC was first held in 1973, the rally has gained popular appeal thanks to its famous jumps, which provide some of the season’s most spectacular images. Rally Finland is held on gravel roads normally used by the inhabitants of the Jyväskylä region. Winding through the forests, the fast, wide tracks flow over the surrounding hills, making for what initially appears to be gently rising and falling roads. But when the World Rally Cars come racing past at full speed, they fly through the air over tens of metres! Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to the event, delighted to witness this fascinating sight.

Rally FinlandIn order to go fast in Finland, you have to know how to ‘read’ the jumps, judge the distance covered, the landing position and the approach to the next jump. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that this race was long the preserve of Finnish and Swedish drivers. Since Didier Auriol won in1992, only five other non-Nordic drivers have finished first in Jyväskylä: Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, Markko Martin, Sébastien Ogier and Kris Meeke.

Rally FinlandThe itinerary of the 2017 rally will be relatively similar the one used in previous years. Following a short stage on Thursday evening, the competitors will tackle a monster of a leg on Friday, contesting twelve stages in fifteen hours! Saturday’s schedule is almost as packed, with eight stages including runs on the brand new Pihlajakoski stage and the iconic Ouninpohja. The race concludes on Sunday with a sprint-like final leg featuring four short speed tests, including the Power Stage.

Rally FinlandRally Finland means

  • Famed for its fast gravel roads and awe-inspiring jumps, Rally Finland will once again offer a challenge like no other to WRC crews – including a marathon 16-hour day of action on Friday.
  • The rally is again based in the university town of Jyväskylä with the headquarters and service park located within the Paviljonki exhibition centre, where the event begins on Thursday evening ahead of the Harju street stage.
  • The crews will head west on Friday for the longest day of the rally, taking in favourites such as Jukojärvi and Urria before heading east to the Laukaa and Lankamaa tests.

Leg two on Saturday features the same tests as in 2016 – including the legendary Ouninpohja

  • But they will be mostly driven in the opposite direction, while Sunday’s final leg south of Jyväskylä and east of Lake Päijänne remains the same as last year.
  • Rally Finland was a founding round of the WRC in 1973 and has been ever-present since, with its big speeds and even bigger jumps earning it the nickname of the Finnish Grand Prix.
  • Marcus Grönholm remains the most successful driver in the event’s history since it became a round of the WRC. Hannu Mikkola also triumphed on seven occasions, although three of his wins predated the world championship era.
  • Until Carlos Sainz won in 1990, no non-Nordic driver had ever claimed first place on Rally Finland, which began life as the Jyväskylän Suurajot (the Jyväskylä Grand Prix) in 1951. That title survived until 1965 when the event became known as the 1000 Lakes Rally. It was another 31 years until the Rally Finland designation was introduced to appease a commercially shrewd organising team.

Recent winners

2016 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle Citroën DS3 WRC
2015 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2014 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2013 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2012 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Citroën DS3 WRC

Rally FinlandRally Finland schedule (GMT+3)

Thursday, July27

8.00am: Shakedown – Ruuhimäki (4.62km)

6.42pm: Start (Jyväskylä)

7.00pm: SS1 – Harju 1 (2.31km)

7.25pm: Parc ferme (Jyväskylä)

Friday, July 28

6.05am: Service A (Jyväskylä – 15 mins)

7.12am: SS2 – Halinen 1 (7.65km)

7.45am: SS3 – Urria 1 (12.75km)

8.48am: SS4 – Jukojärvi 1 (21.31km)

10.06am: SS5 – Halinen 2 (7.65km)

10.38am: SS6 – Urria 2 (12.75km)

11.42am: SS7 – Jukojärvi 2 (21.31 km)

1.37pm: Service B (Jyväskylä – 30 mins)

3.00pm: SS8 – Äänekoski-Valtra 1 (7.39km)

4.13pm: SS9 – Laukaa 1 (11.76km)

5.11pm: SS10 – Lankamaa (21.68km)

6.09pm: SS11 – Äänekoski-Valtra 2 (7.39km)

7.22pm: SS12 – Laukaa 2 (11.76km)

8.30pm: SS13 – Harju 2 (2.31km)

9.00pm: Flexi Service C (Jyväskylä – 45 mins)

Rally FinlandSaturday, July 29

7.20am: Service D (Jyväskylä – 15 mins)

8.58am: SS14 – Pihlajakoski 1 (14.90km)

10.06am: SS15 – Päijälä 1 (22.68km)

10.49am: SS16 – Ouninpohja 1 (24.38km)

12.02pm: SS17 – Saalahti 1 (4.21km)

1.27pm: Service E (Jyväskylä – 30 mins)

2.55pm: SS18 – Saalahti 2 (4.21km)

4.08pm: SS19 – Ouninpohja 2 (24.38km)

5.16pm: SS20 – Pihlajakoski 2 (14.90km)

6.24pm: SS21 – Päijälä 2 (22.68km)

8.39pm: Flexi Service F (Jyväskylä – 45 mins)

Rally FinlandSunday, July 30

8.00am: Service G (Jyväskylä – 15 mins)

9.25am: SS21 – Lempää 1 (6.80km)

10.08am: SS22 – Oittila 1 (10.12km)

11.47am: SS23 – Lempää 2 (6.80km)

1.18pm: SS24 – Oittila 2 Power Stage (10.12km)

2.21pm: Service H (Jyväskylä – 10 mins)

3.00pm: Podium

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