• 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

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.

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.”

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 service
park 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