Rally Sweden’s cancellation dealt a bitter blow to the 2021 World Rally Championship, but its replacement Arctic Rally Finland promises to deliver one of the most exciting winter rallies in the championship’s history.
There are as many as 13 World Rally Cars for the first time since Rally Finland in 2017 and among them is 19-year-old Oliver Solberg, who will make his highly-anticipated top-flight debut aboard a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
Fellow Hyundai driver Craig Breen will also be making his first WRC start since he finished in second place on Rally Estonia last September.
Breen will be keen to help his team-mates Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville get back on terms with the Toyota drivers after the Japanese manufacturer dominated the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally. That won’t be easy considering the form of Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans as well as Kalle Rovanperä’s prior success on the rally and his eagerness for a maiden WRC victory.
Monte WRC2 winner Andreas Mikkelsen leads the support class entires. He’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Esapekka Lappi, Adrien Fourmaux, WRC3 champion Jari Huttunen and Nikolay Gryazin.
Arctic Rally Finland presents a step into the unknown for the majority of the drivers and teams. Here are all the numbers and stats you need to know before the 10-stage winter rally:
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC)
33 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC)
11 Thierry Neuville/ Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
69 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC)
18 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC)
44 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmonson (Ford Fiesta WRC)
8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
3 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC)
42 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
2 Oliver Solberg/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
7 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
12 Janne Tuohino/Reeta Hämäläinen (Ford Fiesta WRC)
37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Simone Scattolin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Arctic Rally Finland entry breakdown
Total 56 crews
13 Priority 1 crews
10 Priority 2 crews (WRC2)
23 Priority 3 crews (WRC3)
10 Non-Priority crews
Arctic Rally Finland itinerary
Friday 26th February
Shakedown Vennivaara (3.53 miles) 0831
SS1 Sarriojärvi (19.29 miles) 1508
SS2 Sarriojärvi (19.29 miles) 1838
Saturday 27th February
SS3 Mustalampi (15.18 miles) 0908
SS4 Kaihuavaara (12.37 miles) 1038
SS5 Siikakämä (17.20 miles) 1208
SS6 Mustalampi (15.18 miles) 1538
SS7 Kaihuavaara (12.37 miles) 1708
SS8 Siikakämä (17.20 miles) 1838
Sunday 28th February
SS9 Aittajärvi (13.96 miles) 1008
SS10 Aittajärvi (13.96 miles) 1318
Total competitive distance: 156.01 miles
Total liaison distance: 375.91 miles
Total distance: 531.92 miles
Keep an eye on DirtFish and all our social media channels for the most comprehensive Arctic Rally Finland coverage this week.
We’ll have reports on each stage, all the latest news and regular insights from Colin Clark and David Evans.
Once the powerstage is complete, we’ll have in-depth analysis of how the event was won, discussion of all the weekend’s biggest talking points as well as our driver ratings.