The Tunnock’s guide to… Neste Oil Rally Finland
The Tunnock’s guide to… Neste Oil Rally Finland
Welcome from Neste Oil Rally Finland organisers:
The 2014 Neste Oil Rally Finland was highly praised as the best ever event in Finland by many: competitors, media and spectators included. Everyone wanted it to stay the same for 2015, but obviously that would have been too easy. And maybe a bit dull, too. So we went and changed it a bit.
We believe the overall shortening of the rally week with a Tuesday recce start and a more relaxed Thursday with only shakedown and Harju will be much favoured by our competitors. And so will be the really long version of Ouninpohja, the new part of Jukojärvi and highly challenging Myhinpää Power Stage, too.
Not only our route has been changed, but also the sideshows have been under scrutiny. This year, we will be celebrating some of the biggest heroes in the history of our sport as many of the Flying Finns will be gathering in Jyväskylä. And, as the night falls, there will be music in the air at the Rally Zone right next to our Paviljonki Service Park.
Once again, there will be four days full of rally action in Jyväskylä, not to mention the three nights in between – we wish you welcome to join the fun with us!
Dates and data:
FIA World Rally Championship round 8/13
WRC – WRC2 – WRC3 – Junior WRC – Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy
Date: 30.07.15 – 02.08.15
Service: Jyväskylä, Paviljonki
Competitive distance: 320.00km (198.84 miles)
Liaison distance: 940.60km (584.48 miles)
Total distance: 1260.60km (783.33 miles)
Longest stage: Ouninpohja 34.39km (21.36 miles)
Shortest stage: Harju 2.27km (1.41 miles)
Time difference: BST+2/GMT+3/UTC+3
Languages: Finnish, Swedish
Finland population: 5.4 million
The Ruuhimäki stage is being used with a slight tweak from last year. The stage is 4.62km (2.87 miles) long and is located 34km (21 miles) away from the service park. Shakedown runs on Thursday July 30 from 0800-1300.
Thursday July 30
Start Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1842
SS1 Harju 1 2.27km (1.41 miles) 1900
Friday July 31
SS2 Pihlajakoski 1 14.51km (9.01 miles) 0928
SS3 Päijälä 1 23.56km (14.64 miles) 1036
SS4 Ouninpohja 1 34.39km (21.36 miles) 1129
SS5 Himos 1 5.62km (3.49 miles) 1242
Tyre fitting zone, Jamsa 1252
SS6 Pihlajakoski 2 14.51km (9.01 miles) 1428
SS7 Päijälä 2 23.56km (14.64 miles) 1536
SS8 Ouninpohja 2 34.39km (21.36 miles) 1629
SS9 Himos 2 5.62km (3.49 miles) 1742
SS10 Harju 2 2.27km (1.41 miles) 1900
Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1920
Saturday August 1
SS11 Mökkiperä 1 13.84km (8.60 miles) 0808
SS12 Jukojärvi 1 21.14km (13.13 miles) 0926
SS13 Surkee 1 14.95km (9.28 miles) 1103
SS14 Horkka 1 15.59km (9.68 miles) 1156
Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1301
SS15 Mökkiperä 2 13.84km (8.60 miles) 1437
SS16 Jukojärvi 2 21.14km (13.13 miles) 1555
SS17 Surkee 2 14.95km (9.28 miles) 1732
SS18 Horkka 2 15.59km (9.68 miles) 1825
Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1930
Sunday August 2
SS19 Myhinpää 1 14.13km (8.78 miles) 1043
SS20 Myhinpää 2 14.13km (8.78 miles) 1308
Finish Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1600
Changes from last year:
Only three stages remain unchanged from last year (Pihlajakoski, Mökkiperä and Surkee). The other seven stages are altered to varying degrees. There are no completely new stages, but Päijälä, Himos, Jukojärvi, Horkka and Myhinpää all have previously unused sections included.
The records show that Jari-Matti Latvala led this event from start to finish last year, but what they don’t speak of is one of the most dramatic battles ever to take place through the Finnish forests. Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila were in control of the event until a brake problem on the second run through Jukojärvi. He lost all but 3.4 of his 31.1-second lead and was expected to be passed by Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier on the final day. Instead, Latvala found another gear and took an emotional win. Citroën’s Kris Meeke took a strong third, having battled with the Polo pair for the first half of the rally before settling for the final step of the podium. Karl Kruuda guided his Ford Fiesta S2000 to a comfortable win in WRC2, while prize drive winner Teemu Suninen surprised everybody on his world championship debut, taking WRC3 in a Citroën DS3 R3. Because Suninen wasn’t registered for Junior WRC, that award went to Martin Koči (Citroën DS3 R3).
Result: 1 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2h57m32.2s; 2 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkwagen Polo R WRC) +3.6s; 3 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroën DS 3 WRC) +50.6s.
Winner’s average speed: 122.09kph (75.86mph)
Top 10 running order (day one):
1 1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
2 9 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
3 4 Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS 3 WRC)
4 2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
5 7 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC)
6 3 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroën DS 3 WRC)
7 5 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
8 20 Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC)
9 6 Ott Tanak/Raigo Mölder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
10 8 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC)
1 Ogier 161 points; 2 Mikkelsen 83; 3 Østberg 69; 4 Latvala 66; Neuville 58; Meeke 53
Leading WRC2 runners:
33 Stéphane Lefebvre/Stéphane Prevot (Citroën DS 3 RRC)
36 Karl Kruuda/Martin Järveoja (Citroën DS 3 R5)
38 Jarkko Nikara/Kaj Lindstrom (Ford Fiesta R5)
39 Yurii Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RRC)
40 Potus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (Škoda Fabia R5)
42 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Škoda Fabia R5)
44 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Peugeot 208 T16)
45 Eyvind Brynildsen/Anders Fredriksson (Ford Fiesta RRC)
50 Sander Pärn/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta RRC)
1 Jari Ketomaa 67 points; 2 Nasser Al-Attiyah 60; 3 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari 57; 4 Protasov 47; 5 Lappi 45; 6 Tidemand 43
Scoring from 6 of their first 7 registered rallies
Leading Junior WRC runners:
52 Simone Tempestini/Matteo Chiarcossi (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
53 Ola Christian Veiby/Anders Jaeger (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
54 Dan McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
60 Quentin Gilbert/Renaud Jamoul (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
62 Henri Haapamäki/Marko Salminen (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
69 Jari Huttunen/Antti Linnaketo (Citroën DS 3 R3-Max)
1 Gilbert 56 points; 2 Tempestini 45; 3 Haapamäki 30; 4 Veiby 25; 5 Christian Riedemann/Osian Pryce 18
Tunnock’s key stage:
Ouninpohja 34.39km (21.36 miles)
Friday July 31, SS4/8 1129/1629
Ouninpohja is one of Finland’s all-time classic stages and has grown in both length and stature down the years. Traditionally run on the first evening of the rally, this super-fast test started close to the Kakaristo junction (where the stage started from last year) and finish 25.1km (15.59 miles) later, alongside electricity pole 163, just after the Hämepohja junction. Driving an Audi Quattro E2 in 1985, Hannu Mikkola set a stage record, completing in 11m35. Sebastien Ogier completed the 33.01km (20.51 miles) in 15m08.9s two years ago. This year’s route is longer still, with the start moving back to where it was in 2002.
Markku Alén says:
“Ouninpohja is a legend – the king of all stages. It was wild, especially in a Group B car. Lancia had a bigger spoiler just for Ouninpohja, which would press the rear wheels into the ground so you could take incredible risks and still find traction.”
Weather with you:
Rain during the recce is likely to continue into the opening day of competition, but the weekend is expected to brighten with long periods of sunshine. Daytime temperatures are likely to range from 15-23 Celsius.
The media week:
Tuesday July 28
1400 Accreditation opens (Sokos Hotel Alexandra)
1400 Media centre opens (Rally HQ)
Wednesday July 29
1700 Photographers’ briefing (Rally HQ)
1745 M-Sport Happy Hour (service park)
1800 Volkswagen meet the crews (service park)
1800-2000 Drivers meet local children and drive pedal cars (WRC Square, service park)
1815 Hyundai meet the crews (service park)
1945 Citroën media cocktails (service park)
Thursday July 30
0800 Shakedown, Ruuhimäki
1200 Top three fastest drivers at shakedown interviewed (WRC Stage, service park)
1300 FIA pre-event press conference (media centre)
1600 Unveiling Champion’s Park close to Rally HQ
Friday July 31
Approximately 1945 Top three drivers interviewed (WRC Stage, service park)
Saturday August 1
Approximately 2000 Top three drivers interviewed (WRC Stage, service park)
Sunday August 2
1645 FIA post-event press conference (media centre)
1900 provisional final classification published
Accreditation? same place as last year, Sokos Hotel Alexandra – over the road from the train station car park.
Media centre? same place as last year, inside Rally HQ in the Paviljonki building.
In-control? same place as last year. Walk away from the manufacturers’ service area and through the support series and the cars will come in from Schaumanin puistotie.
Press car park? same place as last year – in the same multi-story car park you would use for the Paviljonki Hotel.
Party on Sunday night? It’s a TBA, but the Brick’s not a bad place to start. Or finish.
Caramel Wafers? Colin McRae’s favourite biscuits, you know. Hmm, take a peak in M-Sport’s hospitality, you might be surprised…
Tunnock’s Restaurant recommendation:
Figaro (www.figaro.fi +358 (0)20 7669810)
Neste Oil Rally Finland… a potted history
Known as the Jyväskylän Suurajot (Jyväskylä Grand Prix) this rally first ran in 1951, when 23 of 26 crews made the finish of a route running from Jyväskylä all the way up to Rovaniemi and back via a hillclimb and an acceleration and braking test. Arvo Karlsson and Vilho Mattila won in their Austin Atlantic. A year later and three special stages arrived and the true Rally of 1,000 Lakes was born. The event has always remained rooted and routed around the city of Jyväskylä and was dominated by the Scandinavian drivers until Carlos Sainz’s victory in 1990.
Recent winners Neste Oil Rally Finland:
2005: Marcus Grönholm/Timo Rautiainen (Peugeot 307 WRC Evo 2)
2006: Marcus Grönholm/Timo Rautiainen (Ford Focus RS WRC 06)
2007: Marcus Grönholm/Timo Rautiainen (Ford Focus RS WRC 07)
2008: Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroën C4 WRC)
2009: Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Focus RS WRC 09)
2010: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Ford Focus RS WRC 09)
2011: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroën DS 3 WRC)
2012: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroën DS 3 WRC)
2013: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
2014: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
Most successful drivers on Finland’s round of the WRC:
Marcus Grönholm (7)
Markku Alén (6)
Tommi Mäkinen/Hannu Mikkola (4)
Juha Kankkunen/Sébastien Loeb (3)
Stuart Loudon says…
I love Finland. Everybody loves Finland. It’s the most incredible place to go and watch rally cars flying through the forest. But it’s even more incredible from the inside!
I’ve done Neste Oil Rally Finland twice, the first time in 2012 with John MacCrone, when we finished fifth in the WRC Academy in a Ford Fiesta R2 and then a year later with Robert Barrable. Rob and I finished seventh in WRC2 on our first outing in a Fiesta R5. Both times I loved it.
I’m ‘doing’ Finland again this year, but this time I’m doing the rounds… I’m co-driving for Keith Cronin in 2015, but our season never really got started – we crashed heavily in pre-event test in Portugal. I know people always say this, but I really don’t believe the accident was Keith’s fault. The result, however, was that we rolled off the edge of the road, landed on the roof of the DS 3 R5 and pretty much wrecked it. And our season.
Keith’s working away getting the car sorted and I’m really hoping to be able to be back out again with him this year – he’s a hugely talented driver and I’m confident we would have been right up at the sharp end of the WRC2 this season, had things turned out a little differently.
In the meantime, I need to get back in a car and get out competing again. I’ve started to get some good experience of the World Rally Championship and I want to push that forward now. I’m working as hard as ever on my fitness and competing on some rallies in China with Alister McRae is certainly keeping my eye in, but I’m still absolutely determined to carve out my future in the world championship and that’s why I’m in Finland to meet, greet and get to know more folk.
And, of course, to enjoy the sights, sounds and sensational action the WRC has to offer.
Stuart Loudon is a semi-professional co-driver who has started 52 rallies, 18 of which are rounds of the World Rally Championship and one of which was with an Ashes-winning English cricketer. He makes biscuits in the family business when he’s not working towards his dream of becoming a factory co-driver in the WRC.
Pictures courtesy of Red Bull Media House/Volkswagen Motorsport
Stuart Loudon media enquiries
+44 7887 693993
To access the library of press releases please click the link: http://www.wordspr.com/our-work/stuart-loudon
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