This summer, the Finnish round of the FIA World Rally Championship, driven 6 – 9 August 2020, celebrates its 70th anniversary. The route published today honours the past decades by opening and finishing the event with legendary Jyväskylä city special stage classics. The podium celebrations will be organised in Laajavuori, which is making a comeback into the route. Expectations for Finnish success in Neste Rally Finland are running higher than in many years – and we even have Kalle Rovanperä’s permission to speculate a Finnish one, two, three out loud.
This year’s Rally Finland is proud to present a route that honours the anniversary of the event and showcases the extensive history of the gravel roads of Central Finland in a prestigious fashion: with a hint of nostalgia, but fine-tuned to suit the modern times.
– The Neste Rally Finland 70th anniversary features especially prominently in this year’s route. We wanted to bring in a wide selection of special stages representing the past decades of the event added with a modern twist or two. There is room for both the well-known favourites as well as some stages that are entirely new for today’s rally fans, and drivers too, such as Arvaja and Humalamäki, says the Neste Rally Finland Deputy Clerk of the Course Kari Nuutinen, who is in charge of the route.
The legendary city special stage classics Harju and Laajavuori provide high-speed entertainment as well as an air of ceremony right in the heart of Jyväskylä throughout the weekend. And despite of the limitations set by the current regulations, the organisers have managed to also include a piece of the nostalgic Ouninpohja special stage into the route.
– Rally Finland kicks off with and culminates in the historic foundations of the event, the city special stages of Harju and Laajavuori – with Laajavuori also hosting the official podium ceremonies on Sunday. Friday sees some rapid-fire special stages driven near the Jyväskylä area, and on Saturday the route heads downward on the map of Central Finland, Nuutinen explains.
– We were able to include nearly everything we wanted, with the legendary Ouninpohja as the biggest compromise. Based on the decisions made jointly with the FIA, the stage as it is would not be suitable for our modern rally cars. However, the competitors and spectators alike still get to enjoy parts of Ouninpohja, thanks to the familiar Kakaristo special stage. We trust and wish the rally crowds at our anniversary event get to experience some amazing moments out along the route, honouring the long traditions of the rally and enjoying the success of our national heroes!
Rovanperä: “A Finnish one, two, three sounds great!”
The Toyota Gazoo Racing rookie sensation Kalle Rovanperä, who performed extremely well in last weekend’s Rally Sweden, is without a doubt one of the favourites this season – both in the championship and in Neste Rally Finland. The youngster is really looking forward to his home event.
– The expectations are always high when we’re talking about Neste Rally Finland! Before I was able to compete myself, I attended every Neste Rally Finland in the 2000s as a spectator. It is especially fantastic to be able to take part in the 70th anniversary event at the wheel of a WRC machine, Rovanperä enthuses.
– In recent years, the route has suited me really well – as do all these kinds of roads in general. Of course, this year the speeds will be different for example, and it might take me a while to find my feet, but hopefully I can quickly get in to a good rhythm.
– I definitely gained a lot of confidence by doing so well in Rally Sweden. I believe that Finnish drivers will be in good form in Jyväskylä this year, and I hope that together we will be able to raise Finnish flags in the podium ceremonies of several different classes. A Finnish one, two, three in Rally Finland sounds pretty good to me, Rovanperä says with a smile.
All special stages broadcast live – Free bus transport for all Rally Pass holders
This coming summer is a real treat for enthusiastic Finnish rally fans when it comes to television broadcasts and web TV too, as there will be more Finnish-language WRC programming than ever before. In honour of the Neste Rally Finland 70th anniversary, the national public service broadcasting company Yle will send each of the special stages live via their online on-demand media service Areena, in addition to which special stages will also be broadcast on the TV channel Yle TV2. Yle’s wide range of Rally Finland broadcasts will be completed of course by the legendary Rally Radio.
In celebration of the anniversary, Neste Rally Finland organiser AKK Sports Ltd also treats the spectators to a number of other special offers and benefits together with the official partners. The new City Pass, which can be purchased from the Neste Rally Finland official online ticket office opened today, gives you access to all of the Harju and Laajavuori special stages as well as the Jyväskylä Paviljonki Rally HQ throughout the event. A special anniversary gift for all Rally Pass holders from the Neste Rally Finland organiser and the host city Jyväskylä is free-of charge rally transport on all the official Neste Rally Finland and city area bus routes.
Watch the Route video: