A founding round of the FIA World Rally Championship in 1973, Rally Finland remains one of the most famous and certainly the fastest event on the WRC roster.
Originally run as the Jyvaskylan Suurajot, or Jyvaskyla Grand Prix in 1951, the legendary 1000 Lakes Rally title was adopted in 1965 before commercial considerations took hold and the Rally Finland name was introduced 31 years later.
A rally big on speed, it’s also big on jumps with numerous crests, many sited in mid-corner, littering the high-paced gravel stages that blast through forests, making it one of the most daunting challenges in world motorsport.
The Pirelli drivers will have the Scorpion KSB soft compound as the main tyre option, ideal for cooler temperatures and dry roads (or damp or wet conditions), with the Scorpion KHB hard compound ready for warm temperatures and dry roads.
Pirelli has 14 Rally Finland victories to its name. Hannu Mikkola took the first in 1975, Markku Alen was a five-time Finland winner on Pirelli tyres, Carlos Sainz became the first non-Nordic winner of the event in 1990, while fellow rallying legends Marcus Gronholm, Juha Kankkunen, Sebastien Loeb and Ari Vatanen also won for Pirelli in Finland.
In keeping with tradition, organisers have made several changes to the Rally Finland route with new stages introduced and several back on the itinerary after several years of absence. Halinen and Aanekoski-Valtra are new on Friday, while Lempaa and Oittila return on Sunday having not been used since 1999 and 1994 respectively. Meanwhile, the world-famous Ouninpohja runs in an opposite direction to last year.
Leading Pirelli drivers
World Rally Car privateers Lorenzo Bertelli and Valeriy Gorban will fly the Pirelli flag in Finland. Italian Bertelli competes in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, while Gorban, from Ukraine, pilots a Mini John Cooper Works WRC. ACI Team Italia junior drivers Fabio Andolfi and Damiano De Tommaso will chase WRC3 honours in the Peugeot 208 R2s. Local drivers Jukka Kasi and Jukka Metsala have selected Pirelli tyres for their Ford Fiesta S2000 and Skoda Fabia R5 respectively. Taisko Lario, also from Finland, drives another 208 R2.
The tyres and the rules
World Rally Car drivers are allowed to use 24 tyres during the rally, with four tyres per tyre change opportunity and four spares. In Finland, they can choose from 16 of the 205/65R15 Scorpion KHB Reinforced hard compound and 24 of the 205/65R15 Scorpion KSB Reinforced soft compound.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager:
“Like Rally Poland, the stages in Finland are faster with a softer, albeit compact, surface compared to some of the rougher gravel events we encounter. Our Scorpion K gravel tyres offer excellent performance in traction and braking, even on lower-grip surfaces, as well as good stability at high speed, and these characteristics will be very beneficial in Finland.”
For further information please contact:
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • firstname.lastname@example.org