Rally Finland Route History: Stats Extra

The route history series has finished, but there are still some interesting statistics left which correspond over the whole history. Which stages were most often the first stage of the Finnish WRC event? Which stage is used most often? Here you can find the answers.

Cover image by Tommi Hakala (C)

Stages run every decade

The route has varied from era to another, but some classic stages have remained in the rally throughout the decades. Jukojärvi might come off as a slight surprise, but it seems to have hopped on and off regularly, having featured already on the first WRC year of 1973, with the longest pause between 1981 and 1995.

  • Ouninpohja
  • Myhinpää
  • Ruuhimäki
  • Päijälä
  • Jukojärvi
  • Laajavuori (only as a shakedown in 00’s)
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Myhinpää. Photo by Kyn Wai Chung / Flickr

Most often run stages

It’s probably not a surprise that Ouninpohja is the clear winner hear, having been run often twice or even three times in 1982. The newest stages of the top ten are Leustu and Lankamaa, introduced in the late 80’s.

  1. Ouninpohja (49)
  2. Päijälä (38)
  3. Ruuhimäki (37)
  4. Ehikki (36)
  5. Jukojärvi (36)
  6. Urria (35)
  7. Harju (32)
  8. Leustu (32)
  9. Lankamaa (31)
  10. Vaheri (31)
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Ouninpohja. Photo by Kyn Wai Chung / Flickr

Stages used in most editions of the rally

If we omit the repeats of the stages and only count in the editions of the rally that a stage has featured in, we find that Ruuhimäki becomes the winner, having typically been run only once. This list also brings Laajavuori and Myhinpää into the top ten compared to the previous one.

  1. Ruuhimäki (32)
  2. Ouninpohja (31)
  3. Urria (28)
  4. Ehikki (27)
  5. Päijälä (27)
  6. Lankamaa (26)
  7. Vaheri (26)
  8. Harju (25)
  9. Myhinpää (24)
  10. Laajavuori (23)
48466780151_587ff608c0_k
Ruuhimäki. Image by Kyn Wai Chung / Flickr. 

Most common first stages

It’s been quite common to start the rally with a super special. In fact, only for a short period of time from 1993 to 2001 and again from 2011 to 2013 forest stages were used to open the rally. This is actually the complete list of opening stages.

  1. Laajavuori (17)
  2. Harju (10)
  3. Killeri (7)
  4. Kuohu (4)
  5. Valkola (3)
  6. Lankamaa (2)
  7. Parkkola (2)
  8. Koukunmaa (1)
  9. Himos (1)
2007_Rally_Finland_shakedown_19
Laajavuori. Photo by Yaamboo / Wikimedia Commons.

Most common first forest stages

If we skip the opening super specials, we get a different list of which stage has most often opened the actual competition. Humalamäki did so every year from 1974 to 1985, making it a clear winner in this list.

  1. Humalamäki (12)
  2. Kuohu (7)
  3. Lankamaa (4)
  4. Valkola (4)
  5. Parkkola (3)
  6. Urria (3)
  7. Jukojärvi (2)
  8. Vellipohja (2)

Humalamäki can be seen on this video at 3:47 as SS2 of the 1985 rally.

Most common final stages

It’s logical to end the rally on a stage which is close to Jyväskylä. Considering that, it’s interesting that Vartiamäki and Kruununperä are so high on the list, for being moderately far from Jyväskylä. The gravel pit test of Seppälänkangas is the only super special ever to close the rally, in addition to Laajavuori in 2011. This list omits the stages which have closed the rally only once.

  1. Ruuhimäki (8)
  2. Kuohu (5)
  3. Seppälänkangas (5)
  4. Vartiamäki (5)
  5. Kruununperä (3)
  6. Hauhanpohja (2)
  7. Jukojärvi (2)
  8. Oittila (2)
  9. Ouninpohja (2)

Ruuhimäki concluded the rally in 2007, seen on this video at 46:56.

Stages which have been both the first and the last stage of the rally

It’s curious that Ruuhimäki has often been the final stage of the rally, but never the first stage. Out of this trio, only Kuohu has served multiple times on both position, while Himos only once on both.

  • Laajavuori
  • Kuohu
  • Himos

Most common power stages

Only two stages have served as the power stage more than once. Even if we don’t count the experimental TV stage from 1999, Ruuhimäki is the winner.

  1. Ruuhimäki (1999, 2014, 2018, 2019)
  2. Oittila (2016, 2017)
  3. Laajavuori (2011)
  4. Ouninpohja (2012)
  5. Painaa (2013)
  6. Myhinpää (2015)

Ruuhimäki was the power stage already in 1999

Super specials

The format of super specials has changed throughout the years. Laajavuori is a purpose-built hill climbing rally road. Sometimes it has had a bunch of chicanes and sometimes it was connected to the Killeri trotting track, but mostly it’s almost like a forest stage. Suonenjoki and Kovalanmäki were driven on rallycross tracks, whereas Seppälänkangas was in a gravel pit. Harju, Valkeakoski, Vaajakoski, Tampere and Hippos were mixed surface street stages, while Himos, Killeri and Jokimaa had two cars running at the same time.

  • Laajavuori (1973-1992, 1996, 2010-2011)
  • Seppälänkangas (1973-1979, 1981)
  • Harju (1980-1998, 2014-2019)
  • Suonenjoki (1980-1981)
  • Kovalanmäki (1982)
  • Valkeakoski (1986-1989, 1994)
  • Vaajakoski (1988-1989)
  • Tampere (1990-1993)
  • Himos (1994-1997)
  • Hippos (1997-1999)
  • Killeri (2000-2009, 2012-2013)
  • Jokimaa (2011-2013)

Harju was driven for the last time in its old version in 1986

Stage versions which have the same title but share no route

This list is not probably complete but most likely covers the most essential cases. Often a stage offers a wide network of roads to choose around a village which gives the stages a name (Hassi or Moksi). Sometimes a long stage is chopped and the other ends are used individually (Evo or Ouninpohja).

  • Moksi (1986, 1991 & 2000 or 1986, 1991 & 2018-2019)
  • Hassi (1985, 1991 & 1992, or 2011 & 1993)
  • Evo (1984 Evo 1 & 2011)
  • Kavala (1986 & 2009)
  • Kuohu (1973-1975 & 1982-2006)
  • Himos (1991 & 1994-1997)
  • Vartiamäki (1977-1980 & 1989-1998)
  • Äijälä (1976 & 1989-1994)
  • Ouninpohja (1986 & 1992-1993)
  • Autio (1983 & 1991)
  • Ehikki (1981 & 1983 Ehikki II)
moksi
All these stages have been driven as Moksi.

Stages with same title driven in completely different areas

Every country has a lot of overlapping names in different areas. When the rally used to spread further from Jyväskylä, this became more common. It has probably created some confusion, and the organizers didn’t even try to change the overlapping names.

  • Syväjärvi (1978 aka Kavala & 1984 aka Hursti)
  • Mutanen (1979-1981 Ouninpohja variation & pre-1994 Oittila moniker)
  • Sydänmaa (1975-1977 & 1979 aka Vehkalahti)
  • Makkola (1974 & 1975-1976)

Stages with the same route but different title

Sometimes stage changes its name during the years, but the route remains. The name change could be a request of the locals, if the stage is arranged within two villages.

  • Rapsula 1996-1997 & Kakaristo 2019
  • Koivistonkylä 1977-1980 & Äänekoski(-Valtra) 2016-2019
  • Mutanen 1988-1994 & Oittila 2016-2017
  • Kavala 2009 & Kolonkulma 2010
  • Surkee 1989-1993 & Parkkola 2000-2003
  • Juupajoki 1998- & Talviainen
  • Kaipolanvuori 1990 & Heräjärvi
  • Sydänmaa 1979 & Vehkalahti
  • Hännilä, Alajoki & Kutemajärvi
  • Tenkkeli & Toikkala
  • Leskelänkylä & Leskelä
  • Niemenaho & Moksi 1988
  • Syväjärvi 1984 & Hursti
  • Lahnalahti & Hassi 1983-1984
  • Savonkylä 1981 & Viitapohja 1982

Forest stages with tarmac parts

Although Finland is known for its gravel rally roads, every now and then there has been a very short bit of tarmac road. Again, this list is probably not complete, but a start

  • Marjoniemi
  • Kuusanmäki
  • Kuukanpää 1982-1985
  • Painaa
  • Ruuhimäki 1985, 1991-1998 & 2018-2019
  • Tuohikotanen 1987
  • Leustu 1988-2012
  • Haukilahti
  • Rajalahti 1989
  • Juupajoki 1989-1991
  • Keuruu 2002
  • Vellipohja 2005-2006
  • Himos 2006-2013
  • Hyväneula
  • Horkka

Tarmac start on the Kuusanmäki stage in 1982 at 46:03

PS: The stage in the cover image? Well, that’s Pengonpohja 1986. It didn’t really make it to any stats, but it’s just a very cool photo.

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