- Two-year extension signed at Jyväskylä City Hall on eve of 70th anniversary event
- Rally1 hybrid era and switch to sustainable fuel to signal start of new contract
- Founding round of WRC gets calendar slot for 2022 and 2023 seasons
Rally Finland will continue to provide fast-paced action in the FIA World Rally Championship for at least the next two seasons following confirmation of a partnership extension between AKK Sports and WRC Promoter.
A founding round of the WRC back in 1973, the world’s fastest rally will form part of the sport’s global calendar in 2022 and 2023 when the championship enters another exciting era with the introduction of hybrid-based Rally1 cars and 100 per cent sustainable fuel.
The agreement was formalised on the eve the event’s 70th anniversary edition when Riku Bitter, CEO, AKK Sports, and Jona Siebel, Managing Director, WRC Promoter, met in the Jyväskylä City Hall to put pen to paper on the new contract.
Commenting on the renewed agreement, Riku Bitter said: “On behalf of AKK Sports it gives me great pleasure to confirm Rally Finland will remain a key part of the FIA World Rally Championship for at least another two years. I thank Jona Siebel and his team at WRC Promoter for their continued support and belief in our event. I must also thank the Rally Finland stakeholders for their unwavering commitment and, of course, the fans for their backing, particularly in light of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While remaining part of the WRC family is, of course, a great privilege and a key target, it’s particularly the case given the advent of the hybrid-based Rally1 regulations and the WRC’s switch to sustainable fuel from the 2022 season.
“Naturally we will do all we can to ensure Rally Finland remains part of the WRC for the long term but, for now, our immediate focus is on delivering a fantastic and truly memorable 70th anniversary event in conjunction with our title sponsor, Secto Automotive.”
Jona Siebel said: “Rally Finland is one of the jewels in the WRC’s crown and fans across the globe will be delighted with this news. It is, after all, hard to imagine a WRC season without a visit to Finland’s breathtaking rollercoaster roads.
“For now, everyone is excited and looking forward to a wonderful 2021 event this weekend. On behalf of WRC Promoter and the sports fans, I thank AKK Sports for its efforts and perseverance in making the rally happen against the backdrop and difficulties caused by the pandemic.”
Rally Finland’s place on the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship is due to be ratified at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on October 15.
Sponsored by Secto Automotive, the 70th Rally Finland takes place from tomorrow (Friday October 1) until Sunday when the world’s top rally drivers will battle for glory on high-speed gravel stages. The event counts as round 10 of the 2021 WRC season.
More information and media activities:
Linda Hirvonen, National Press Officer, +358 (0) 45 3299696, firstname.lastname@example.org