Big entry for Rally Finland
Eighty-five crews, including 17 in World Rally Cars, will contest Neste Oil Rally Finland next month, organisers of the FIA World Rally Championship qualifier have confirmed.
In addition to the WRC regulars, such as factory Citroen pilots Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Loeb, and the works Ford pairing of Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg, the list includes several highlights.
Among these are rapid Australian driver Chris Atkinson, who will deputise for Nasser Al-Attiyah in the Qatar World Rally Team, Gymkhana internet sensation and Finland rookie Ken Block, Finnish talent Matti Rantanen, and local veteran Sebastian Lindholm, who starts his first world championship event since Wales Rally GB in 2007 when he piloted a Suzuki SX4 WRC.
There are more standout entries in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship section of the high-speed gravel event with emerging stars Esapekka Lappi and Mikko Pajunen both being handed wildcard entries with Pajunen lining up in a Tommi Makinen Racing Subaru Impreza R4 STI.
Seven-time Finnish champion Juha Salo will also be in action in the SWRC with PROTON Motorsports, as part of a two-event campaign with the Malaysian manufacturer. Meanwhile, eleven crews will contest the WRC Academy.
Neste Oil Rally Finland is round eight of the 13-event WRC season. It takes place in Jyvaskyla from 2-4 August.