Oun­in­po­hja shake up to cause drama

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - David Evans

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.”

Oun­in­po­hja test

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