WRC – Arctic Rally Finland joins 2021 FIA World Rally Championship
The FIA World Rally Championship will enterprise into the Arctic Circle for the primary time subsequent month after WRC Promoter in the present day added Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox to the 2021 calendar.
The all-new snow and ice occasion might be based mostly in Rovaniemi on 26 – 28 February and replaces the cancelled Rally Sweden because the WRC’s solely pure winter encounter. It types spherical two of the 12-event fixture listing.
The announcement means the Nordic nation will host two WRC rounds this yr. Rally Finland, held on iconic rollercoaster gravel roads round Jyväskylä, will happen on 29 July – 1 August.
Rovaniemi, the capital of Finland’s northernmost Lapland province, lies simply exterior the Arctic Circle. The competitors will happen contained in the area, the place temperatures can plunge beneath -30°C in February.
Town is famously referred to as the house of Santa Claus (or Joulupukki as he’s known as in Finland) and in addition attracts excessive vacationer numbers to view the gorgeous Aurora Borealis shows – higher referred to as the Northern Lights.
The rally begins on Friday 26 February with a morning Shakedown, forward of the opening particular phases that night. Saturday options three assessments pushed twice forward of Sunday’s ultimate leg, which closes with the Wolf Energy Stage. The ten phases cowl 260km.
The rally will run beneath strict nationwide, native and FIA Covid-19 procedures and organisers will comply with all protocols on whether or not followers might be allowed.
WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel was impressed by Promoter AKK Sports activities’ willpower to organise the rally at quick discover.
“Because it was confirmed in December that Rally Sweden wouldn’t happen, we’ve been working laborious with AKK Sports activities, town of Rovaniemi and the lovers there to attempt to make this occasion occur. It’s been a tricky race in opposition to time and my thanks go to all concerned,” he mentioned.
“Though the rally begins in simply 44 days, we all know AKK will go away no stone unturned to make sure it reaches the identical excessive requirements as the standard summertime Rally Finland.
“Winter rallies present among the sport’s most spectacular motion. A winter wonderland of full snow and massive snow banks lining the roads are a driver’s dream, so I feel the WRC is in for a good time!”
AKK Sports activities CEO Riku Bitter is delighted at how shortly Rovaniemi embraced the concept of a WRC spherical at such quick discover.
“We got down to look into the matter and discover our potentialities. Of the assorted completely different choices, Rovaniemi, with its strong tradition in organising winter rallies, good status as a global occasion metropolis and huge variety of enthusiastic and skilled rally-makers stood out,” he mentioned.
FIA Rally Director Yves Matton mentioned: “With Arctic Rally Finland becoming a member of the WRC calendar, we’ll expertise a rally in a area that has at all times made us dream and the place situations promise to be optimum for a snow occasion.
“Following the unlucky cancellation of Rally Sweden in December, that is proof that with challenges can come alternatives.
“I wish to thank AKK and the organising crew for his or her dedication, professionalism and willpower, which allows them to make a second spherical in Finland a actuality inside a short while window. We’ll give all our assist and assist to make sure a terrific success for this new spherical.”
The revised calendar is topic to FIA approval.
Photograph credit score: Haanu Rainamo