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Poland and Finland events receive WRC route tweaks

Rally Poland and Rally Finland have both adopted significant route changes for 2016 while remaining based out of the same locations.
Rally Poland and Rally Finland have both adopted significant route changes for 2016 while remaining based out of the same locations.

Rally Poland, which runs from the 30 June-3 July, has seen one-third of its 2015 route revised but keeps its familiar setting of Mikolajki in the Mazurian lake district. The event will feature 22 gravel stages with a total competitive distance of 317km.

Changes have been made due to safety concerns as well as making it more attractive for fans, with just four stages remaining from last year while two sprints return from previous years. The remainding stages have all been tweaked.

Rally Finland, which takes place four weeks later on the 28-31 July, sees a more drastic 43% change to its route with the introduction of sharp 'jab' stages to break-up transitions.

The event based around the city of Jyvaskyla consists of 24 stages across 334km of competitive running. All mid-day services will be held in Jyväskylä with the introduction of competitive 'jabs' that enable routes to stretch further and take in new locations.

"We change the directions of the route slightly from year to year in order to keep the rally interesting for the competitors," Kari Nuutinen, Rally Finland Deputy Clerk of the Course, said. "It works out well for the local residents too, because this way some villages and other actors involved in the event can take a breather once in a while and enjoy the rally as spectators, and in other years they can again be active in making a rally event in their own village."

The pair of rallies host the seventh and eighth round of the 2016 World Rally Championship respectively. Volkswagen Motorsport dominated the two events last year, taking two 1-2 finishes with Sebastian Ogier winning in Poland ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen, while Ogier finished runner-up to Jari-Matti Latvala in the Scandinavian rally.



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