All roads lead south on Rally Finland’s Saturday. Clustered around the town of Jämsä, day two is Ouninpohja country. The only downside is that the granddaddy of them all isn’t present in anything like its traditional format.
SS7/11 Kakaristo-Hassi (11.29 miles)
The famous Kakaristo junction features early in this stage, but it’s quite different to how we’ve seen it used in recent memory. Coming in from the north, starting much closer to the E63 main road to Jyväsklyä, the crews will rip through the junction faster than ever before. Instead of a hairpin, the approach comes via a long left-hander through some buildings and on towards the artificial jump. After that, there’s the more familiar part, the smaller Ouninpohja road. Where the stage ended in 2019, the crews will continue on to part of the Hassi stage last used in 2011. This section is wider, faster and more flowing.
Once across the finish line, the road section takes them through the Mutanen junction. They must resist the temptation to turn right and have a crack at some of Finland finest miles and go straight on towards SS8.
SS8/12 Päijälä (14.05 miles)
Last run in this direction in 2016, and with the addition of a new section at 1.96 miles. The stage starts on a nice wide road which should offer good grip from a firm base. A hairpin right takes them into a narrower section, before another junction takes the cars back to the traditional, wider Päijälä road.
Not only is this the most southernly of all the stages on the route, it’s the longest and will quite possibly average out among the faster roads.
SS9/13 Arvaja (8.38 miles)
The last time this stretch of road was used competitively, Tommi Mäkinen was fastest along it in a Group A Ford Escort RS Cosworth (pictured below). A day later, the Finn recorded his maiden 1000 Lakes victory.
More recently, the Arvaja stage has been used by the teams as a test road. It sits between the famous Hassi and Ouninpohja stages and, as you’d expect, offers a similar style steep and hilly, undulating topography (doesn’t all of Finland?). With a handful of limiter-troubling long straights, expect this one to be quick.
SS10/14 Patajoki (12.77 miles)
Heading east of Jämsä for the final gravel stage of the loop. This one’s a real patchwork of Hassi and Vaheri roads used on the 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010 Rally Finlands – but its topped and tailed with a brand new 520 meters at the start and bonus 1,180 meters at the finish.
The drivers were generally happy with the speed through here from the recce, but there were some slightly rougher places where the road had been worked on after the winter. But everything’s relative here. Finland doesn’t really do rough.
SS15 Harju (1.44 miles)
What’s better than a city stage for atmosphere? A city stage in the dark. This is the second of two runs through the all-asphalt spectator-pleaser in the middle of Jyväskylä.