Official Website: NesteOilRallyFinland
Entry List Click: Neste Rally of Finland Entry List.pdf
First run in 1951, the Rally of the 1000 Lakes, as it is known, has become one of the most prestigious, and popular, in the calendar.
Finland is known as the spiritual home of rallying, thanks to its abundance of wide, smooth gravel roads - which are perfect for the sport - and the record breaking achievements of its drivers who grew up learning how to drive them flat out.
Names like Vatanen, Gronholm, Makinen, and Kankkunen each learned their craft here before going on to conquer the world - ensuring the WRC drivers' trophy has remained in Finnish hands for 13 years since 1979.
The stages around the host town of Jyvaskyla are the fastest in the championship and have hosted five of the six fastest rallies in WRC history. The 2005 Rally Finland holds the outright record as the fastest rally ever, with an average speed of 122.86kph.
Maintaining these speeds along stages littered with jumps, blind crests and hidden corners requires a highly specialised driving style, combining inch perfect pace notes, the perfect racing line and a huge amount of nerve. Local knowledge counts for a lot in Finland, to the extent that only seven non-Finns have won the rally in 58 years.
Despite the mind-bending speeds the hard-packed roads Finland is not mechanically tough on cars. Instead, the challenge is purely about top speed and skill behind the wheel. With pines trees lining much of the route, errors rarely go unpunished, so the stakes are high. For most rally drivers, however, the challenge is addictive and victory in Finland is seen as the ultimate WRC prize.
read more click: WRC.com Neste Rally Finland