Will the 2020 WRC season resume with Finland?

Rally Finland organizers push ahead with planning for August event

Thierry Neuville Hyundai WRC Rally Finland 2019

With further meetings planned for next week to discuss the immediate future of the Safari Rally, Rally Finland is tipped as a possible restart to the 2020 World Rally Championship.

The Jyväskylä-based event is four months away, with the first point of crew engagement being the opening day of the recce, Tuesday August 4, when the world’s fastest rally drivers should be lining up at the start of the Pihlajakoski stage at 0700 local time.

While the Rally Finland organizers have issued Rally Guide 1, the accepted marker of event planning moving up a notch, the introduction echoes the current global situation, stating: “In these exceptional times, it is not easy to think of anything to say about rallying, as all our lives are currently concentrated on taking care of more important things – of our loved ones, ourselves, colleagues, and indeed our businesses and organisations, which are effected in so many ways by this pandemic.

“As for Neste Rally Finland, we could have wished for a better start to our final preparations for the event, which is our 70th anniversary.

“As things are, we can only keep working to make you the best possible event under the circumstances, and keep trusting that by early August things will be different and we can all come together to celebrate our event, its anniversary and the end of this global lockdown!”

Ott Tänak Toyota WRC Rally Finland 2019

For the first time, the guide includes a sub-section for COVID-19.

That additional point under 15.1 Medical Information reads: “Due to the current pandemic situation around the globe, we have no idea at the time of publication of our Rally Guide 1 whether we will be able to run the event as planned.

“If we are able to run it, there may still be restrictions on travelling to/from/inside Finland relating to Covid-19 at the time of the event.

“Please follow carefully any advice and updates given by the organizer, as well as by the Finnish authorities and by those of your home country. We will be publishing updates on our website whenever necessary.”

Entries open on May 20 and are set to close on July 6, with the Harju stage around the streets of Jyväskylä scheduled for 1900 Thursday August 6.