Record number of World Rally Cars set for Finland
Ford dominates the list numerically with 11 examples of the Fiesta RS WRC
More new-generation World Rally Cars than ever before will contest Finland’s round of the world championship with 21 of the high-tech turbocharged machines set to do battle on the flat-out gravel spectacular next month.
The total is two more than Rally Italia Sardegna attracted for its event in May and three more than the number that started the Acropolis Rally in Greece earlier this month.
Ford dominates the list numerically with 11 examples of the Fiesta RS WRC. Six MINI John Cooper Works WRCs and four Citroen DS3 WRCs make up the 21 as part of a mammoth 124-car entry, which remains subject to FIA approval.
Of the 21 World Rally Car drivers in action on Neste Oil Rally Finland, four of them - Jari Ketomaa, Matti Rantanen, Mattias Therman and Janne Tuohino - will have no previous competition experience in WRCs when the event gets underway on 28 July.
Matthew Wilson’s inclusion on the entry list represents a huge boost for the Briton who had feared that he wouldn’t have the funds available to contest the event in his M-Sport Stobart Fiesta.
Denis Giraudet has been entered as Evgeny Novikov’s co-driver after he stood in for Novikov’s regular navigator Stephane Prevot on the Acropolis Rally. It is understood Russian Novikov will complete his campaign with Frenchman Giraudet rather than linking up with Prevot again due to the Belgian’s other commitments.
Away from the World Rally Cars, some of the more intriguing names on the entry list are rising stars Joonas Lindroos, from Finland, and Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen, who will pilot a brace of SKODA Fabia Super 2000s run by Volkswagen Motorsport. Their appearance marks the first stop towards VW’s participation in the world championship with its Polo R WRC from 2013.
While PG Andersson has failed to secure a seat in a World Rally Car, the Swede will drive an R4-specification Subaru Impreza instead. Finn Juho Salo will also be at the wheel of an R4 car, albeit a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
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