Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are in Finland for the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship this weekend.
Rally Finland has always been a happy hunting ground for the Waterford/Kerry crew.
Nagle won the rally in 2016 alongside Kris Meeka and the pair were third there in 202i while driving for Hyundai.
The majority of Finland’s stages are smooth gravel roads allowing this year’s crews to push their Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 cars in excess of 180 kph through sweeping corners often containing crests and jumps. The high speeds make for little room for error as the majority of the flat-out sections are lined by rally-ending ditches and trees.
The jumps and speed of Rally Finland make it the most spectacular rally of the season, attracting crowds from around the world. Drivers with experience on Rally Finland’s roads are certainly at an advantage: smaller jumps aren’t so obvious during recce and have been known to catch inexperienced competitors out in previous years.
M-Sport team leader Craig Breen will use his 2021 Rally Finland podium finish to bolster his confidence heading into the event, hoping to build on his experience on the similar smooth gravel surface in Estonia.
“Finland is a place that has served me well in the past as we’ve had two podiums there. I really enjoyed the event last year; we had a really good run and led the rally briefly at the beginning. I always feel good on this event and on these types of roads,” he said.
“It’s probably the event I’ve done most in the World Rally Championship now, so it’s nice to go back every year.
“Estonia was good in some respects; our pace was strong and I’m looking forward to having a fresh go at it in Finland and seeing what we can do.”
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