Nice on Ice! Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox Route Revealed

The first Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox is gearing up to bring high-speed action on snow and ice to the FIA World Rally Championship from February 26-28 following the completion of the event route and itinerary.

  • Rovaniemi-based event to cover 251.08 timed kilometres over 10 stages
  • Victory battle begins with double pass of monster Sarriojärvi stage live on TV
  • Night-time action will provide thrilling spectacle on Lapland’s ‘white gold

Organiser AKK Sports has worked flat out to finalise the make-up of Finland’s maiden winter WRC rally following confirmation that it will host the second round of the 2021 season just 18 days ago.And Kari Nuutinen, the Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox Deputy Clerk of the Course, is delighted to reveal details of the challenge that awaits the world’s best rally drivers and their teams when they head to the capital of Finland’s northernmost Lapland province just outside the Arctic Circle.

“Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox is winter motorsport at its very best and we can’t wait to deliver a fantastic, challenging and compact addition to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar under rigorous COVID-19 protocols,” said Nuutinen. “The ambient temperatures should be between minus 6 and minus 14 degrees centigrade during the week of the rally although they could dip as low as minus 20. And there will be plenty of snow – or what Lapland people call ‘white gold’ – on the ground, so perfect conditions for a winter rally. The stages won’t be too unfamiliar to those used on the Arctic Lapland Rally, although some will be shorter to suit the WRC format, while others will run in reverse direction to create a level playing field for all crews.”

Picture SM Rally Finland

Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox Route Explained

Utilising sections of stages that featured on the Finnish championship-opening Arctic Lapland Rally last month, Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox is big on challenge but small when it comes to overall distance with no stage more than 77,79 kilometres from the permanent servicepark at the Santasport complex in Rovaniemi.

Day one: Friday February 26

  • Stages: 2 (SS1-2) Stage distance: 62.10 km Liaison distance: 187.04 km Total distance: 249.14 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:41 / 17:18
  • Following shakedown on a 5.69-kilometre stage at Vennivaara west of Rovaniemi from 08:31 local time, Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox takes crews northeast of the host city towards the stunning landscape around Kemijärvi for two runs of the 31.05-kilometre Sarriojärvi stage at 15:08 and 18:38.
  • Kari Nuutinen: “Sarriojärvi passes through probably the most beautiful terrain in the Arctic Circle. The stage includes flowing sections and will be a firm favourite among the drivers with the second pass run in the dark. It’s the longest stage of the rally and crews will need to be ready for some extremely narrow sections and many corners over crests. The snowbanks were one-metre high during the recent route planning.”

Day two: Saturday February 27

  • Stages: 6 (SS3-8) Stage distance: 144.04 km Liaison distance: 311.53 km Total distance: 455.57 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:37 / 17:21
  • Using a compact route around Vanttauskoski close to Rovaniemi, Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox’s longest day is made up of three stages used twice with the leg-ending test run at night.
  • Kari Nuutinen: “Saturday begins with the 24.43 kilometres of Mustalampi (SS3), which runs over the top of a frozen swamp at one point. The stage includes sections of Jyrhämäjärvi, a stage well known to Finnish drivers. Mustalampi, which also counts as SS6, ends with a spectacular charge through a driver training area. Kaihuavaara (SS4/7) is 19.91 kilometres long and one of three during the event being broadcast live on TV around the world. It’s a very fast stage with many height variations and narrow sections. Siikakämä (SS5/8) is a typical of the forest roads around Rovaniemi but some 15 kilometres shorter than the version used on the Arctic Lapland Rally last month at 27.68 kilometres.”

Day three: Sunday February 28

  • Stages: 2 (SS9-10) Stage distance: 44.94 km Liaison distance: 103.70 km Total distance: 126.17 km Sunset/sunrise: 07:34 / 17:25
  • The inaugural Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox will be decided over two runs of the 22.47-killometre Aittajärvi stage south of Rovaniemi with the second visit counting as the Wolf Power Stage from 13:18 when WRC drivers’ and manufacturers’ bonus points will be up for grabs.
  • Kari Nuutinen: “This is a legendary Lapland stage with a section running through the farmhouses
    at Niemelä. It’s hard to compare it to anything else and needs to be seen to be believed.”

Shovels and Warm Clothing Must be on Board

Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox regulations require each competing car to be fitted with a winter ‘survival kit’ including two shovels and warm clothing in the event of a rally car going off the road and getting stuck in the snow. Because immediate help won’t be at hand from spectators due the event running behind closed doors in line COVID-19 protocols and government restrictions, the ‘survival kit’ is an essential requirement.

Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox in Numbers

251.08: Competitive distance in kilometres
10: Service park and event HQ are located 10 kilometres south of Rovaniemi Airport
31.05: Sarriojärvi is the longest stage of the rally at 31.05 kilometres in length
19.91: In contrast the 19.91-kilometre Kaihuavaara stage is the shortest
-20: The ambient temperate could drop below as -20 degrees centigrade during the rally

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