Big changes in the pipeline
The Finnish Round of the World Rally Championship, Neste Oil Rally Finland, is set as the 9th round of the 2008 season. There will be plenty of action on the gravel roads of Central Finland in late July - early August when, in addition to the
WRC aces, drivers of both the Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) and Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC) will compete for glory in the legendary "Grand Prix on Gravel."
"We are happy that Finland is included on all three calendars and our event is the only one this season (to host all three series)," said Jarmo Mahonen, the Managing Director of rally organiser AKK Sports Ltd, with a pleased smile.
"A single WRC round cannot get more exciting and interesting than this. We can offer the Finnish fans more rally action than ever before," he added.
"Naturally, this had an immediate effect on the Rally Finland route jigsaw puzzle," Mahonen continued. "This year the durability of the roads is a main factor that needs to be taken into consideration when planning the route."
Thus, there will be big changes to the rally route.
The number of special stages will remain roughly the same as last year, but approximately half of the routes themselves will again be new. The special stage distance will be approximately 350 kilometres.
"The route cannot be published in more detail as of yet - not before all the permits are in order. However, we already know that the most demanding stage in the world, Ouninpohja, will not be driven in 2008," Mahonen indicated.
The reason for dropping this legendary stage from the route is its speed: "The matter was discussed with the FIA already last year, and at the time we were able to keep Ouninpohja as a part of our route. This year we have to leave it out for safety reasons."
The service park will again be located at the Jyväskylä Paviljonki, and all the services during the rally will take place there.
The route established for Rally Finland will be published in March.
Source Rally Finland