It has been a long-time desire of the Rally Finland organiser AKK Sports to move the event to August – and now they got their wish. Next year, Finland’s biggest annual sports event Neste Rally Finland will be driven 1 – 4 August, which means that the event now returns to its traditional spot in the WRC calendar, where it has last been in 2015.
The extraordinary meeting of the WRC Commission faced a tough decision when they had to drop the Japanese round, which had held a slot in the draft calendar, from the final schedule for the 2019 season. However, at the same time the Finns were granted their wish for a move. The Rally Finland organisers are happy about the new date:
– Next year, the event date at the beginning of August allows us to create an even more diverse, varied and well-rounded event together with our partners, yet still giving spectators the chance to enjoy a WRC event in Jyväskylä in fine summer weather. For many rally fans, the final part of their summer holidays or the period just after their holiday is also a more preferable time to come and watch the rally live than July, which is in the middle of the Finnish holiday season, says the Neste Rally Finland Promoter Jani Backman, who is pleased with the new dates.
This year’s Neste Rally Finland attracted a large number of spectators and received praise from the FIA and the teams as well as the fans. The 57,000 rally fans that visited the Jyväskylä Paviljonki Rally HQ and the 255,000 spectator experiences produced by the event strengthened Rally Finland’s status as one of the biggest annual sports events in the Nordic Countries.
In 2019, Neste Rally Finland will be driven as the 9th round of the FIA World Rally Championship. As per tradition, the season kicks off in January in Monte Carlo and ends in Australia in the middle on November. Compared to this year, 2019 season will feature one more round, as the WRC will be visiting Chile in May.
The Neste Rally Finland route and special stages will be published at the end of February – beginning of March 2019. The pre-sale of Rally Passes begins online in November and of the hospitality events in December 2018. www.nesterallyfinland.fi
(Picture: Santeri Rosenvall / AKK)