The 2021 World Rally Championship calendar has seen further revisions, with the Arctic Rally Finland added to the schedule, running from February 26 – 28.
The event, which will be an ice and snow round based in Rovaniemi, replaces Sweden on the calendar after it was forced to cancel its round as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The new rally in Finland marks the second WRC event this year that will take place in the Nordic country, as a separate event, held on gravel roads in Jyvaskyla, will take place on July 29 – August 1.
Rovaniemi is the capital of Finland’s northernmost Lapland province and lies just outside the Arctic Circle, where temperatures can plummet to as low as -30 degrees Celsius in February.
“Since it was confirmed in December that Rally Sweden would not take place, we’ve been working hard with AKK Sports, the city of Rovaniemi and the enthusiasts there to try to make this event happen. It’s been a tough race against time and my thanks go to all involved,” said WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel.
“Although the rally starts in just 44 days, we know AKK will leave no stone unturned to ensure it reaches the same high standards as the traditional summertime Rally Finland.
“Winter rallies provide some of the sport’s most spectacular action. A winter wonderland of full snow and big snow banks lining the roads are a driver’s dream, so I think the WRC is in for a great time!”
The rally will begin with a morning shakedown on Friday, February 26 before the opening special stages on the same day.
Saturday will feature three tests driven twice ahead of Sunday’s final leg, which closes with the Wolf Power Stage. The 10 stages will cover 260km.
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