On the Saturday (26 July) before the start of Rally Finland (31 July/3 Aug) the Finns have organised a bit of a shoot-out between today’s top rally drivers and the stars of yesteryear in what promises to provide a fascinating spectacle.
The head to head races will take place on a specially constructed 1.65 km sprint circuit on the waterfront in the district of Hietalahti, in Helsinki.
The ‘new kids on the block’ will comprise Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala in VW Polo WRCs with Mads Østberg in a Citroën DS3, Mikko Hirvonen in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta, plus Thierry Neuville and Juho Hänninen in Hyundai WRCs.
Ranged against them are rallying royalty including 1978 World Champion Markku Alén in a Volkswagen Polo R WRC, four times World Champ Tommi Mäkinen in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, twice World Champ Marcus Grönholm in a Hyundai i20 WRC and four times Champ Juha Kankkunen in a Citroën DS3 WRC.
Here’s the thing. If we get a Road Closure Order – could we do the same thing ahead of Wales Rally GB in 2015?
Here’s the other thing. Who will win? Upstarts or auld farts?