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Neste Rally Finland Route 2020

February 20, 2020

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.

STAGE BY STAGE

Special stage by special stage. 2020 Route of Neste Rally Finland highlights and specs by Deputy Clerk of the Course Kari Nuutinen.

THURSDAY 6th

Shakedown – Vesala
“The Vesala special stage, familiar especially from the 1980s and ‘90s, gets the honour of warming the drivers and cars up before the start of the actual competition. The shakedown stage is a summarised representation of what to expect from the route. Vesala is located close to Jyväskylä, features different types of road and acts as a fantastic prologue for the drivers. Vesala has been the shakedown stage for a couple of times in recent years and this year, driven in the opposite direction, it will be a totally new experience.”

Harju SS 1/12
“Naturally, this king of city special stages will be the opening stage of Neste Rally Finland 2020. Harju is a high-speed firecracker of a stage with amazing atmosphere. A perfect mix of asphalt and gravel – and definitely not your average drive around the block! The extra special anniversary side events and entertainment complement the package. Once again, Rally Finland starts in a worthy manner in the heart of Jyväskylä, and so the grand prix on gravel begins.”

FRIDAY 7th

Laukaa SS 2/4
“Friday’s string of forest stages kicks off in Laukaa, with many different types of roads and chancing Lakeland scenery made. This stage with long traditions has its roots deep in the history of the rally. In recent years, Laukaa in its new form has made a comeback into the Neste Rally Finland route. Our cooperation with the Laukaa municipality generates a new kind of local vitality, and the Laukaa & Ruuhimäki duo have clearly established their place in the hearts of all rally fans.”

Ruuhimäki SS 3/5
“Ruuhimäki is like Neste Rally Finland on a miniature scale: action-packed, high-flying and challenging in many ways. In the past few years, we have been accustomed to seeing Ruuhimäki as the rally-ending Power Stage. And this year we absolutely wanted to keep this popular speed test in the anniversary route, so now fans get to tune in to the fantastic rally spirit well in advance, near the Ruuhimäki stage finish for example. All the basic elements of a rally festival as well as service providers can be found near the stage finish – so get ready to rock.”

Humalamäki SS 6/9
“The Humalamäki special stage is making a comeback in honour of the anniversary event. Humalamäki, a permanent fixture in Rally Finland in the 1970s, was last driven in the mid-‘80s and has been seen as a shakedown even a few years after that. We have now been able to update it into a full-blooded special stage suitable for the modern rally cars – which we are extremely proud of. As a completely unfamiliar stage to the current drivers, it will be a challenge to learn new and fast-paced road. It will be very interesting to see who will be the quickest to master this special stage classic.”

Ässämäki SS 7/10
“Ässämäki is yet another new stretch for the drivers to learn, as the driving direction has been changed from last year and there are also totally new, never-before-driven sections in the first part of the stage. This challenging special stage also has a little bit of the former Halinen stage woven into it. Ässämäki consists of smallish but rather fast roads that need to be driven with great precision. You won’t know how well you did until you reach the stage finish and see your time on the board.”

Sahloinen-Moksi SS 8/11
“This stage is also steeped in history. There was a special stage called Sahloinen driven in 1977 – 1993, and we have picked some special elements from those days and incorporated them into this new anniversary stage. We’re introducing new parts from the direction of Sahloinen to the beginning of the stage and the remaining part has been joined into the traditional Moksi roads, where the historic route is reflected in the interesting roads and fantastic scenery. The Moksi junction as a place to watch the rally from and where you can really immerse yourself in the fantastic atmosphere in a big way, is already a ‘concept’ in its own right.”

SATURDAY 8th

Pihlajakoski SS 13/17
“Pihlajakoski is a special stage with a really long history. It became a well-known favourite of especially the 1970s rally-goers. This year, Pihlajakoski will be driven in the same form as it was in 2019. It is a rather challenging fast-paced speed test, which is also one of the favourite stages among the drivers. The idyllic village of Pihlajakoski along the special stage boasts amazing scenery as well as the best spectator areas and great service. Despite of his young age, Kalle Rovanperä has already been able to write history in Pihlajakoski by famously driving there with his bonnet up.”

Päijälä SS 14/18
“A long stage, where the local Päijälä villagers play a very active role in ‘the making of their own special stage’. Päijälä also features one of the most famous bends in the rally, which pops up about mid-way through the stage, as well as picture-perfect scenery for several kilometres. A challenging special stage for all drivers, and that way also a very exciting stage for the spectators.”

Kakaristo SS 15/19
“Kakaristo, always one of the crowd favourites, needs no introductions. This is the familiar Ouninpohja stage that features many different road types. When it comes to the level of difficulty, Kakaristo is most likely an even more challenging stage than Ouninpohja and a true test for even the toughest rally professionals in the world. The Kakaristo junction is one of the most famous spectator areas in Neste Rally Finland, with guaranteed fantastic atmosphere.”

Arvaja SS 16/20
“Arvaja is a perfect addition to the anniversary route, as all the current drivers will be first-timers there. A completely new special stage for the WRC era that features some of the most challenging road sections in Finland and has especially spectacular spectator areas near the stage finish. Arvaja might just become everyone’s favourite – and if I were to go and watch Neste Rally Finland myself, I would definitely include Arvaja in my plans.”

SUNDAY 9th

Laajavuori SS 21/24
“The place of a thousand stories. Laajavuori was the Rally HQ in Jyväskylä for many decades, up until the turn of the millennium, and it’s an integral part of the history of the event. The last time Laajavuori was driven, as shakedown, was in 2014. This year, the special stage Laajavuori will provide high-speed rally action on gravel and also partly on asphalt. The stage starts with a climb up the ski slope and eventually winds its way down almost to the same spot. On Sunday, Neste Rally Finland 2020 culminates in the Laajavuori Power Stage, followed by the official podium ceremonies organised right there in Laajavuori. A historic full circle moment, quite literally!”

Oittila SS 22/23
“One of the most difficult special stages in Rally Finland, where you have to be able to control everything from the high speeds to the changing road types and precise details. Oittila is driven twice and in the same form as in 2019. It is more than challenging enough to kick-start the final day of the rally on Sunday – and Oittila might well be a game changer too. The length of the stage, the variety of different road types as well as all the changes in rhythm guarantee there will be plenty of action and the competition will remain exciting all the way to the end.”

Rally Guide 1

Itineraries

Route Map

Map

Route Preview by @AnttiL_WRC

Service Park layout

Entry List

KSML.fi – Rally Finland sites

KSML.fi – Rally Finland, historic photos

KSML.fi – Rally Finland, historic sites – year by year

Monday 6 July at 18:00 (17:00 CET)

Closing date for entries

Friday 10 July 

Publication of Draft Entry List (Subject to FIA approval)

Wednesday 5 August

x.x-x.x Service park open for spectators, Service Park Paviljonki

Thursday 6 August

9:00-13:30 Shakedown Vesala – 4,04 km (road closed at 6:00-14:00) /
13:00 Meet the Crews (invited drivers), Service Park Paviljonki
13:30 FIA Pre-Event Press Conference, Media Centre
14:00-15:30 WRC Drivers Meet the Kids event (All priority drivers, selected non-priority drivers), Service Park Paviljonki
18:37 Start of the rally, Service Park Paviljonki
19:00 SS 1 Harju 1 – 2,31 km (road closed at 12:00-23:59) / Recce Onboard
19:20 Overnight Parc Fermé, Rally HQ
Competitive distance: 2,31 km (Liaison 7,12 km, Total 9,43 km)

Sunrise 4:56
Sunset 21:48

Friday 7 August

6:55 Service A (Paviljonki) 15 min
8:08 SS 2 Laukaa 1 – 11,75 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard
9:08 SS 3 Ruuhimäki 1 – 11,12 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by YLE
10:18 SS 4 Laukaa 2 – 11,75 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard
11:18 SS 5 Ruuhimäki 2 – 11,12 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by YLE
12:08 Regroup & Technical Zone
12:23 Service B (Paviljonki) 40 min
13:46 SS 6 Humalamäki 1 – 5,85 km) (road closed at x:x-x:x)
14:39 SS 7 Ässämäki 1 – 12,28 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
15:42 SS 8 Sahloinen-Moksi 1 – 22,40 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
16:48 SS 9 Humalamäki 2 – 5,85 km) (road closed at x:x-x:x)
17:41 SS 10 Ässämäki 2 – 12,28 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
18:44 SS 11 Sahloinen-Moksi 2 – 22,40 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
20:00 SS 12 Harju 2 – 2,31 km (road closed at 0:00-23:59) / Vetomies 1st car 18:00 / Recce Onboard
20:20 Parc Fermé & Technical Zone
20:30 Flexi Service C (Paviljonki) 45 min
21:15 Overnight Parc Fermé, Rally HQ
22:30 Publication of start list for Section 5
23:59 All cars must be returned to Parc Fermé no later than

Competitive distance: 129,11 km (Liaison 310,35 km, Total 439,46 km)

Sunrise 4:59
Sunset 21:45

Saturday 8 August

6:25 Service D (Paviljonki) 15 min
8:08 SS 13 Pihlajakoski 1 – 14,42 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Vetomies 1st car 9:53 ? / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by AL Rally
9:11 SS 14 Päijälä 1 – 22,87 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Vetomies 1st car x:x / Recce Onboard
10:14 SS 15 Kakaristo 1 – 18,70 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Vetomies 1st car x:x / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by AL Rally
10:52 SS 16 Arvaja 1 – 13,46 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Vetomies 1st car x:x 
12:17 Regroup & Technical Zone
12:40 Service E (Paviljonki) 40 min
14:43 SS 17 Pihlajakoski 2 – 14,42 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by AL Rally
15:30 ? Vetomies Podium Paviljonki
15:46 SS 18 Päijälä 2 – 22,87 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard
16:46 SS 19 Kakaristo 2 – 18,70 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard / Recce Onboard by AL Rally
17:24 SS 20 Arvaja 2 – 13,46 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
19:08 SS 21 Laajavuori 1 – 4,19 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
19:38 Parc Fermé & Technical Zone
19:48 Flexi Service E (Paviljonki) 45 min
20:33 Overnight Parc Fermé, Rally HQ
21:45 Publication of start list for Section 7
23:30 All cars must be returned to Parc Fermé no later than

Competitive distance: 143,09 km (Liaison 457,25 km, Total 600,34 km)

Sunrise 5:01
Sunset 21:42

Sunday 9 August

9:08 SS 22 Oittila 1 – 19,34 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard
11:21 SS 23 Oittila 2 – 19,34 km (road closed at x:x-x:x) / Recce Onboard
12:35 Regroup IN
13:15 Regroup OUT
13:18 SS 24 Laajavuori2 – 8,56 km (road closed at x:x-x:x)
14:15 Podium Laajavuori
15:30 FIA Post-Event Press Conference, Service Park Paviljonki
18:00 Publication of provisional classification

Competitive distance: 47,36 km (Liaison 160,14 km, Total 207,50 km)

Sunrise 5:04
Sunset 21:39

all times local

Rally total:
24 special stages
Special Stages total: 321,87 km (25,6 %) = the percentage of the total distance of special stages
Liaison 934,86 km
Route total: 1256,73 km

Source:
www.nesterallyfinland.fi

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