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Difficulties with chicanes on the Rally Finland Shakedown stage settled opinions of drivers which were publicly expressed at the official pre-event Press Conference.  

An extract from the Rally Finland roadbook showing two adjacent chicanes. (Photo: Martin Holmes)

Kris Meeke said: “Personally I don’t agree with them at all.  I think it’s a stupid idea, I don’t think (this year’s) Rally Finland is any safer than before, I think it’s more dangerous with these chicanes. I think it’s the wrong approach,” the Irishman said.   

Hayden Paddon: “I agree with Kris, I think it adds more danger rather than making it safer.  Rather than the obstacles being on the side of the road, we are now putting them in the middle of the road.  For me it makes no sense.”  

Jari-Matti Latvala was a little more circumspect: “I think the rally organisers are a little afraid after what happened at Rally Sweden when one of the stages was cancelled because the average speed was getting too high.

“This is the first time in Finland when we really have the chicanes.  Some of the chicanes are OK, but then there are places which are not good.”

“It doesn’t really change the risk level for me, or the rally in general,” reigning World Champion, Sebastien Ogier, added.

- Martin Holmes

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