In a week when we learned of the death of the RAC Rally (I think we can call it that again now) in its current form and the immediate future of the Monte Carlo Rally hangs in the balance, news of a second Finnish World Rally Championship round this season should come as a very welcome tonic.
And that tonic is expected to be delivered on Wednesday, just over a week after confirmation of a deal being brokered to take the WRC further north than ever before.
AKK – the governing body of Finnish motorsport – is closing on agreement with local organizers and WRC stakeholders to hold a replacement round for Rally Sweden in Lapland. While no official comment on the event has been made, it’s expected to run from February 25-28 and be based out of Rovaniemi with competition on the icy side of the Arctic Circle.
One source told DirtFish: “We will have news for you tomorrow. A decision is definitely to come on Wednesday. We cannot say it is sure, but everything is looking good. We are excited for this chance.”
Finland’s first of two 2021 WRC counters (the second being Rally Finland, which runs July 29-August 1) will take an organizational infrastructure from this week’s Arctic Lapland Rally – which will be running over similar terrain – and add in some of the AKK’s legendary WRC know-how.
Increased government restrictions around coronavirus forced the cancellation of Rally Sweden last month and almost immediately the Arctic Lapland Rally was tipped as a possible replacement. The Finnish Championship-qualifying event runs on Saturday and Sunday and, once that’s done, all efforts will be directed towards a second, WRC-counting version next month.