Why Rally Finland will be “completely different” in 2021

Harri and Kalle Rovanperä reckon the October date will completely transform the WRC classic


Maybe I should stop listening to Garbage. Maybe I am only happy when it rains. I’m definitely happy when it rains in Finland. Just a bit, mind. I’m talking heavy drizzle rather than light deluge.

Rain at Rally Finland focuses the mind just that little bit more. It makes everything just that bit more edgy. Do we need that on a rally with an average speed close to 80mph? Probably not. But it looks like it’s coming this year.

Jyväskylä in the first weekend in October will be a very different proposition to some of the scorching summer gravel grands prix we’ve known in recent years. Average cloud cover increases to 80% in October and it rains every third day; rising to every second day, depending on which website you look at.

Some corners of the internet have it snowing for two days in October. Something to do with coldness and 89% humidity.

All I know is that I’ll probably take two sweaters. And a coat. And a hat.

That’s on the recommendation of a local father and son who know more than most about the weather in and around their home town.

The father and son in question? Harri and Kalle. The Rovanperäs.

With the mid-summer festivals firmly in the rear-view mirror, the nights will be well and truly drawing in by the time Friday afternoon’s Harju opener comes around.

Kalle Rovanpera
It’s going to be like we haven’t seen it before. It’s going to be something new Kalle Rovanperä

“Boys will have extra lights fitted for lots of stages, I think,” Harri Rovanperä told DirtFish. “I never drove those roads in the rally car at that time of the year, but with the light and the cold and the rain – it will be a completely different rally. It will be like starting some new stages for the first time.

“Maybe this can work for Kalle. Some of the others have a lot of experience for these roads over the years, but also I think Kalle is coming now quite fast. Now he has won in this rally [Estonia], I don’t see so many reasons why he can’t do it anywhere.

“The only thing with October date is not so good for the fans. It’s not the summer any more. But maybe the sun can still shine for some hours.”

Harri’s son will certainly be looking to shine.

“It’s definitely going to be a different style of event,” Kalle added. “By October, we can already have a lot of rain and it can already be quite muddy. It’s going to be like we haven’t seen it before. It’s going to be something new.”