Local stars return for Rally Finland
|By David Evans||Friday, July 2nd 2010, 10:48 GMT|
Rally Finland has atttacted a host of rapid Finnish drivers returning to the World Rally Championship or guesting from other series, although their battle will take place in the Production and Super 2000 categories rather than in the top class.
The Jyvaskyla-based event is a round of both the support series and traditionally garners one of the strongest Group N entries anywhere - and this year is no exception.
Former Intercontinental Rally Challenge star Anton Alen drives a Ford Fiesta S2000, the same choice of car as his countryman Toni Gardemeister, who rejoins the WRC for the first time in 18 months. There is also a brace of Skoda Fabia S2000s for IRC leader Juho Hanninen and Matti Rantanen, who finished seventh overall in a Ford Focus RS WRC in 2008.
Another significant entry for the July 30/31 event will be Jarkko Nikara, who was comfortably the fastest of last year's Pirelli Star Drivers and is regularly turning heads with some startling performances in a Renault Twingo in this year's British series.
The above will join SWRC regulars Martin Prokop and Nasser Al-Attiyah, both of whom will drive Fords, but all eyes in this round are likely to be on local heroes Janne Tuohino and Jari Ketomaa.
Of the conventional Group N cars, Patrik Flodin's Subaru is likely to set the pace, with Juha Salo and Jukka Ketomaki (both in Lancers) pushing him hard for P-WRC honours.