Bernie Ecclestone suggested once all Formula 1 circuits have water sprinklers, to spice up the action a bit. So maybe cold and dark should be added to the menu of every rally? Finland is still the most spectacular event in the WRC thanks to its rock-solid speeds and extraterrestrial jumps: Adrien Fourmaux of M-Sport set this year’s record by jumping 68 meters on the Ruuhimäki Power Stage.
But what made Rally Finland this year very different was the fact that it was held in October rather than its traditional summer date, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This not only meant that the temperatures were cool, with wet and slippery road surfaces, but also that the rally took place in the dark. There’s something in the night that acts like a fast-forward button: Watching the footage of the car through these pitch black forests was a time warped experience.
The unusually cool conditions also meant that all the riders chose the soft tire from start to finish, so there was no problem with the tire strategy to gain the advantage. It was a flawless sprint from start to finish, mano to mano.
The man who won one of the fastest rallies ever was Welshman Elfyn Evans, who over the past two years has become the closest challenger to his Toyota teammate Sébastien Ogier. After Finland, Evans is now 24 points behind with two rallies to go: Spain and Monza. It is a tall order, but far from impossible.
It was Evans’ fifth rally victory – and certainly the best – putting him on track to break into the upper echelon. This is already the same number of victories that names like Markko Märtin and Jean-Pierre Nicolas have scored. If – or rather, when – Evans wins five more, he will be on the same total as world champions Ari Vatanen and Richard Burns.
To see how dominant Evans was in Finland, just look at the average speeds. Not only did he obviously set the fastest average speed of the entire rally at 125.5 km / h, but he also established the highest average speed on a single stage (Laukaa) at 133 km / h.
However, he will wish he had driven just over a mile an hour faster: Kris Meeke (also out of five career wins) still holds the absolute speed record after winning Rally Finland 2016 at an average of 126 , 6 km / h. On this occasion, however, it was the height of summer in broad daylight and the roads were completely dry …
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This notice was published: 2021-10-04 11:12:21