Ouninpohja shake up to cause drama
This week’s Rally Finland will be – quite literally – a leap into the unknown for the World Rally Championship.
The Ouninpohja stage will run in its entirety in the opposite direction to previous years for the first time since 1994 this week.
There’s nothing new in this, stages are turned around all the time, but the difference here is the speed, the flight and the familiarity.
“The trouble is, you’ll feel familiar in the surroundings,” said Kris Meeke. “You will recognise parts of the scenery, things like that. It’ll feel like we’ve been there before, which we have of course, just not in that direction. The trick comes with the little crests and jumps, which ones will you fly over or which corners tighten up just a wee bit.
“To be honest, it’s going to be a massive challenge, but you have to put that out of your mind and just listen and focus 100 per cent on the notes. One of the interesting places will be the famous jump by the yellow house. I’ve only ever driven it coming up towards the jump; what’s the approach now? The road’s absolutely flat out for a kilometre before it – what’s going to happen when the road drops away beneath us at that speed? “It’s going to be fantastic. Finland’s always a challenge, but the route this year will really shake things up a bit.”