One corner at Rally Finland last weekend seemed committed to catching out and rolling as many cars as possible. (Count 10 rolls and five other crashes.) But the rally fans watching from the side of the road had other plans.
Watch this video and you’ll understand why people lose their minds over Rally Finland. I could tell you it’s the fastest event on the World Rally Championship calendar, but that wouldn’t explain it in the way that a car flying sideways through the air set up for another flat out corner does.
The consistently fastest event in the World Rally Championship is Rally Finland, beloved as much for its huge speeds as for its car-launching crests and jumps. Here’s the gnarliest one of the weekend.
Back in 2012, Americans Chris Duplessis and Alex Kihurani made it to Finland to run the round of the World Rally Championship. To everyone in the U.S. rally community, it felt like a victory in and of itself. Watch this video and understand why.
Ouninpohja, Finland is a quiet wood with a lazy dirt road winding through it which turns into a racetrack when the World Rally Championship comes to town. Red Bull’s Volkswagen Polo R has won the race here three times. Today, it has some traffic on its tail.
Northern Irish Citroën Racing World Rally Championship driver Kris Meeke just crushed Rally Finland with the fastest ever win there. So, imagine his annoyance when Volkswagen team principal/whiner-in-chief Jost Capito says that Meeke can’t be happy with that win. Dude, what?
Drop everything. Do nothing else this afternoon. Let’s watch rally cars launch into space. If watching rally cars skip and dance at insane speeds down dirt roads doesn’t make you want to fly in the air or book a trip straight to the magical land of Kimi and Santa Claus, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.
World Rally Championship codriver Paul Nagle would likely say, “Sort of.” Nagle ended up sitting in his car’s hatch for a while after driver Kris Meeke aquaplaned into a tree on the second run through the Jukojarvi stage during Day 2 of Rally Finland.
When the M-Sport car of Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt broke a suspension arm on the Ouninpohja stage (SS4) during Rally Finland, they whipped out one of the best LeMons-grade on-stage fixes I’ve seen in quite some time.
Jari-Matti Latvala might be the most aggressive, raw driver at the top of the World Rally Championship. Can you hold your nerve over just 4.2 miles of Rally Finland's final stage?
[The little Nissan Violet managed to finish fourth in '81 1000 Lakes Rally (now Rally Finland). The car didn't have the outright performance, but it was tough enough to survive the huge yumps of the course. Photo Credit: Nissan]
Robert Kubica is probably the single driver with the most incredible comebacks to his name by sheer numbers, so he's not going to let a little bitty crash like this one in the Rally Finland slow him down. Not even if he needs to take out half the goddamn forest.
Citroën's DS3 WRC car might be the fastest point-to-point automobile on the planet, but would you pick up a date in one?
WRC Finland is this weekend and it's the rally of all rallies. Sure there are more epic ones in length or difficulty, but nothing matches the speed and jumps of Finland! When one dreams of being a rally driver, it's on the stages like Ouninpohja.
Chris Duplessis, heralded by many as the next big thing in American rallying, needed to raise $10,000 in funds to get himself and his front-drive Fiesta R2 to WRC Finland so Jalopnik and other folks put out the call. He made it and then some.
WRC Rally Finland may have officially ended yesterday with an overall victory for Sebastien Loeb, but several WRC racers exited the rally a lot earlier and a lot less successfully than the French driver. As you can see from this video footage, there was no shortage of large crashes during Day 1 of Rally Finland.
Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen crashed out of Rally Finland today in fairly dramatic fashion. The Finn was leading the event when he lost control of his Focus RS and somersaulted over a hill. Crazy in-car and spectator footage below.