Known by the general public as the Tunturi Rally, the Arctic Lapland Rally has gained some interesting entries this year.
Kalle Rovanperä joins Toyota’s factory team for the first time in Rovaniemi in the Toyota Yaris WRC, following tests with the team in France. This year’s 19-year-old rally talent will be driving a full time in the FIA World Rally Championship with the team run by Tommi Mäkinen.
On the roads of Lapland, Rovanperä is met by Formula 1 star Valtteri Bottas, whose car is the older model of a WRC Citroën DS3 that he won Rallycircuit Côte d’Azur with in France in the beginning of December.
Bottas made his debut in rallying and competed last year in the latest M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC. Again this year, the co-driver is the double world champion Timo Rautiainen, who in his peak years was with Marcus Grönholm.
With 30 cars applied for the main class considering mostly of R5, Super2000 and old WRC cars, the Finnish Rally Championship will also see the newly introduced N5 cars coming from the Spanish national championship, with Spanish driver Daniel Alonso Villaron and Ilkka Kariste in a Kia Rio N5 and Ford Fiesta N5.
Former WRC driver Toni Gardemeister’s team TGS Worldwide will be runing 6 Škoda Fabia R5 cars with drivers like young talent Emil Lindholm and fan favourite Eerik Pietarinen.
Other known drivers that are on the list include Niclas Grönholm from FIA World Rallycross Championship with a Škoda Fabia R5 entering in the father’s team GRX Taneco Team, Riku Tahko who steps out from the rallycross scene in a one of a kind built Mini Cooper ONE R4 Rally2Kit car and RX2 International Series young star Sami-Matti Trogen in a Ford Fiesta R2.
The attractiveness of competition in the Rovaniemi environment has grown significantly from last year. A total of 135 entrants have registered for the rally on 17 and 18 of January. Last year, there were almost 30 fewer registrations. A total of ten special stages, with a total length of 201 km that will be run in this years edition of the arctic rally.