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Rallying in Finland - numbers

3666 Views 27 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Gruppe B
The conversation on JV's post further down the forum reminded me that I had this information about rallying in Finland that illustrates just how popular it is over there. Read on and just try to imagine these figures. I got these links and info on the world rally forums, particularly from user Riitta (thanks!). Most of these links are in Finnish, but you can get the general idea...

There are maybe 50-60 rallies a year, with maximum entries of 220 cars (Riitta explained that usually the entries vary between 80 and 220) :eek: Look at these pages and see ("osanottajat" is the entry list). I think those are organized by month and day:

http://www.mantta.fi/yritykset/tenab/kale2002.htm (to see other years just change the year on the link)

This page details the competitor and car stats:


Look at the kinds of cars... not quite prorally material :)

Also, I understand that these lines are the number of actual competitors for the year (first line drivers and second line codrivers, last column totals - 1901 drivers and 2337 codrivers :eek: ):

1-ohjaajia yhteensä 726 38% 448 24% 727 38% 1901
2-ohjaajia yhteensä 562 24% 487 21% 1288 55% 2337

The main page for this site - http://www.mantta.fi/yritykset/tenab/

BTW, JV or Topi, why are Toyota Starlets so popular for rallying over there, what with their tiny wheelbases?

I guess this can be filed under "curiosity", but there must be at least a little something that we can learn from them on how to attract more people to rallying? BTW, some of the Finnish guys in the forum believe (and I tend to agree with them) that the secret of their success is in quantity of competitors and level of competition.

LOL, I feel like I am talking about some fantasy rallying land in middle-earth (Lord of The Rings).

This would probably make for an interesting Specialstage.com editorial (if only I had the time)...
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>So rallying isn't a new phenomenon in Finland like it seems
>to be here in the U.S. (though I have been following it here
>for over 30 years), rather it is a way of life and has been
>for over 50 years.


You are exactly correct.

It is difficult to explain to someone what rallying means to Finns. It would be something akin to what NASCAR means to people in the southern USA.

As JV and ACP have also pointed out, it comes with other quite attractive side activites involving saunas, beer, females, etc. However, this is where the analogy with NASCAR becomes somewhat tenuous. Although I did enjoy myself in Finland, I cannot quite picture the same enjoyment, if it involved a 300 lb. NASCAR momma decked out in her skin tight, make believe Jeff Gordon driving suit.

Doug Woods
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Hi Tom,

I was never much of a cycle fan but all my friends had Derbi scooters, and I'm sure the lifesize carboard Alex Criville at the local Repsol gas station had something to do with it. Now that I think about it, I wasn't old enough to own a scooter but I did have a bicycle completely covered in Derbi and Marlboro stickers.
And yes, most of the Spanish speaking world is obsessed with Soccer. Not so much Cuba and Puerto Rico, but anything south of Mexico, and it's like a religion.

Jose picture of 60's Derbi 50CC GP bike is on my wall by my desk.
Soccer like a relgion - relgion is only one day a week. Although if you factor in the crusades or the inquisition then yes they would be"almost" as fanatical as Futbol Fans!!


PS where can you get one of those Criville cut-outs , I really do need one for my Garage.
Cultural differences USA vs the rest of the Western World

>There's still a huge impasse on the culture. In Sweden they
>have this "Folkrace" activity which is like a very small
>rally or rallycross, populated by old Volvos and Saabs that
>are no longer necessarily street legal (blanked headlights,
>nerf bar bumpers etc.), and...
well with 90 to 150 entries at 6-8 events EVERY WEEK somewhere, even in the far far North above Luleå and Kiruna and Jokkmokk (pop density 2 per square mile up there) I don't think I would call them small events, and closed course doing multiple laps, maybe not so much rally either...

Well Folkrace was invented in Finland and is concieved as an affordable, controlled cost format to allow participation for
everybody hence the name "Folk" = people. And Race, which in the rest of the world is routinely used as shorthand for "ROAD or circuit RACE".
The format is multiple heats usually 6 cars at once, winners advancing to B finals and those winners advancing to A finals.
Like motorcycle Speedway or car Rallycross, the real manly insane 600bhp stuff not this limpwristed public wanking with the shameful name here.
They are always on closed courses, in the beginning smoothed out moto-cross courses, sometimes extending moto-cross courses, and the
courses have a max average speed and a max speed.
summer dirt, winter snow and ice.
>...the winner of every event is required to sell his car if
>anyone will pay, I think, 4000kr (like $500) (this may have
>changed since 2000 and since currency unification, but it's
>the right range).
I believe every car is subject to being claimed, and it does happen although generally guys will get 30 or 40 friends to put in counterclaims and then give the car back. Or do the same at the next event.
>Some of the events are more like little rallies, and some
>are closer to (oh gad) dirt track racing in the US with
>multiple cars on the track, but with turns both ways. Lots
>of amusing photos can be fuond at
>http://w1.825.telia.com/~u82503048/ - all those are from
>Southern Sweden.
While I admire the whole concept of controlled cost, simple format, affordable loose surface competition I can't see this idea transferring here to USA anyway, not with our mentality regarding risk and liability and our essential weeniness.
It's too rough and tumble and ultimatly uncertain in result:
Gringos in general want to win or imagine they will win or they don't want to participate.
If they can't win, they seem to want to say they did anyway, or come up with catalogs of excuses why they didn't win or why they crashed or whatever.
This is one of the essential differences between those cultures where rally (the subject here) is popular and the USA where it isn't.
There would likey even in the discussion stage be all sorts of pressures for a gazzillion classes :(
>Flirting with the laws of physics.

John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
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The USA can have a geat future in the world of rallying the sport can grow here and we can produce drivers who can compete at the top leavels of the sport. The fins are not garenteed some set percentage of wins at the world level.

Step one, set up some very compeative low cost classes such as Gp222 and promote them as the place to be for close hard fought compitition. Promote them as affordable simple straight forward classes.

Sept two, use some of the tv time to dramitize the personalities and the close battles in these classes. Sure show the factory teams since they are paying, but make an effort to show that the sport is assable to the average working person and the real fights are in the later running clases. Heck little things like giving the biggest trophy to the winner in the class with the most entries sends the right message. Also a trophy for best performance not best overall finish. Poss hold rallys that do not have Open & N classes present.

Step three Make a big deal about regonial championships. Lowers the cost and gets drivers more seat time.
Step Four, set up local clubs that can mentor people new to the sport.

Becoming fast requires good competition, seat time, and the mental state of a champion. The Finns have the first 2 in droves and the top driver have the late part too.
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RE: fragmented racing venues

>So what you're saying is that instead of inventing a
>dedicated snow-going motorcycle and then inventing roads for
>them, the Finns just stuck with cars and the roads they
>already had.
Well if somebody was implying that, then they are incorrect, as the Finns and for that matter their neighbors embraced snomobiles for utility and recreation including moto-crossstyle stuff by the earlier 70s.
They are as nuts in the winter as any loons in our snow country. They're out there on Enduro bikes as well! OI!

As usual, the cheaper form of transportation
>turned into a very expensive racing machine. At ice races,
>its fun to take snowmobilers for rides showing them how much
>fun we have sliding around with windshields, heaters and no
>tow cars and trailers.
Yeah but the impression or sensation of speed is just that much more when you're OUT IN the breeze and the branches are brushing your sleeve.
>I had older brothers who hooked me up with motor clubs in my
>area but when I moved, it was almost a year before I could
>find the local SCCA and find a member to sponsor me to join.
>This computering and Googling is a big improvement over
>flagging down MG-TC owners on the street.

However, there is still just so much information that can be transmitted in print on a glorified TV screen.
>There are many small motor clubs around, I think the Albany,
>NY ice racing club has talked about running dirt
>competitions in the summer. I'm sure there are interested
>people all around NA.

John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
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>The conversation on JV's post further down the forum

>BTW, JV or Topi, why are Toyota Starlets so popular for
>rallying over there, what with their tiny wheelbases?

Well 1300s are normal size cars and have been forever in Europe so the are millions and so it's a legit class.
As it's a legit class, and there are plenty of cars there is real competition against other similar cars, so WITHIN THE CLASS, everything is hunky-dory, and the Toyota Starlet which is popular there, and also in Sweden is the old rwd model like we got here and is a real fun, well balanced car with a motor that can't be killed.
So rwd, good balance, rack and pinion steering (a rare thing on cheesy cheap rwd jap crap), very good motor.
I was at an event once and they had 35 Suzukis alone in 1.3 class all 16v.
So if that was the case here, and the parts were similarly significantly cheaper, and there was IN CLASS fights, I would strongly advise people to think about Starlets and those 16v Suzukis.

As it is, it is a dead end road to selling your car verty soon to get something nearer the class limit if a person starts with a little motor, little car (BTW they sorta go together, have to in fact if there is to be any performance)
So it's mostly a strange obsession and excercise in making life difficult for yourself.
>I guess this can be filed under "curiosity", but there must
>be at least a little something that we can learn from them
>on how to attract more people to rallying? BTW, some of the
>Finnish guys in the forum believe (and I tend to agree with
>them) that the secret of their success is in quantity of
>competitors and level of competition.
That and several on Rallinet english forummit have suggested or mention the role clubs/managers and jhelp from the more experience driver "who don't have anything to hide".

John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
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All you old farts have it wrong- Want to make rally popular? Then make it 'cool' as well as accessible- just imagine everytime you see that peice of fragile shite honda/acura/vw-lowridi'n17"chromerimmin.fibercarbonhoodin.liquidcooledquadruple15"subwoofin.ARP4"muffler-on-a-stockexhaust waste of the meager earnings of 400 hours of hamburger flippin going down the road that the 16 year old driver actually knew that a rally car actually did something when you put time and money into it. Then imagine he(she) had a rallycross event (assuming that they are not banned by the scca) within an hours drive- wow what a concept- somewhere that I can actually drive this thing as fast as I can- legally?
My idea- everyone who has a rally car or rally project car- drive the thing to work! Race that neon with the $3k paint job and 2' high spoiler at the light! Show them that rally lives outside of their x-box!
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