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Thirty years ago the FIA became suddenly alarmed at the hazards of high speed stages. In 1986 they issued edicts concerning, amongst other things, the recommended maximum average speed for cars on stages (110km/h) and the maximum power of cars to be used in competition (300bhp).  

WRC drivers love the high-speed stages that Rally Finland provides.By 2015, the average speed of the winner of the final stage on Finland’s WRC event was 134km/h, and the new rules for World Rally Cars in 2017 promises even higher performance.    

Speeds on stages is currently a hot topic and organisers try various tricks to lower the top speeds on the stages by employing chicanes on the faster stretches of stages, and by using rougher roads to increase the times taken to cover the stages.   

It is interesting, therefore, to note that the organisers of this year’s Neste Rally Finland had arranged for only one chicane all rally, and that was on a downtown stage which was run twice. Teams accept the situation.   

Comment from Hyundai: “Our car works well on high speed stages, drivers enjoy them, they are great to watch, so we are happy.”  

M-Sport: “High speed has always been a factor in rallying, so it is up to all involved to ensure that this speed is managed accordingly.”  

VW's comment: “At the moment the mix of different rallies in the WRC season is nice for fans, drivers and teams.  In the last three years, our team has shown what it is capable of on the high-speed routes through the Finnish forests.  The drivers like it for sure.”

And VW driver Sebastien Ogier: “It gives you a great sensation in the car. Driving in Finland is pure pleasure with an extremely high concentration level.”
 
- Martin Holmes

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