The high-flying Canadian who’s targeting Finland

Jason Bailey outdid Takamoto Katsuta on Rally México's jumps and now wants to try the WRC's fastest event


Spontaneous flights are usually the best. An unexpected trip. Another adventure. Jason Bailey’s not convinced. That said, his time in Méxican airspace has helped rid him of his fear of Finland.

Remember Takamoto Katsuta’s monster leap on the El Brinco jump last year? The one which included the famous Japan Airlines reference? Same road, same day, Bailey flew further. That was one way to curb his Ford Fiesta Rally3-based aerophobia.

“That jump in El Brinco was not planned,” Bailey told DirtFish. “I didn’t really know about it – but we cleared the entire landing area. I’ve seen pictures of the car and you could very easily stand underneath it! That was on the first pass; on the second pass I was smart enough to put the brakes on.

“I remember seeing a clip of Sébastien Ogier’s interview when he was asked if he was going to go flat over that jump. He said: ‘It’s definitely not for me.’ I was like: ‘It was for me!’”


Bailey was second in WRC3 on last year's Rally México

Having competed on selected world championship rounds including the Safari and Rally Japan last year (where he scored his maiden WRC class win), Bailey said it could be time to realize a dream in Finland this time summer.

“The car we drove in Japan and Kenya is now in France,” he said. “It would make sense to get over there and use it on some European events and Finland is right up there. I was a bit scared of Finland before, there were so many big jumps and you’re sideways over so many of them – but then jumping further than Taka in México helped me get over that fear. We f*****g sent it!”

In terms of his North American commitments, having done the ARA season-opening Sno*Drift, Bailey skipped 100 Acre Wood in favor of tackling two rounds of his home series in Canada – the first of which he won at the start of the month (Cochrane Winter Rally).

His Fiesta Rally3 will return to ARA action for the two West Coast events in Olympus and Oregon before he decides on the remainder of the Stateside season.

“The focus is on the Canadian Championship,” Bailey said, “but if we go well on Olympus and at OTR [Oregon Trail Rally] then maybe we have to think again. Let’s see where we’re at.”