RallyJournal.com asked Jari-Matti Latvala to draw the route of his dream Rally Finland – here’s the result

What would the route of the Rally Finland look like if Jari-Matti Latvala were the course master?
Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala at the 2023 Rally Finland. Photo by Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool.
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Jari-Matti Latvala, now the team principal of Toyota, has driven the Rally Finland 18 times and won three times. He surely has insight into which stages should be driven.

RallyJournal.com asked Latvala to design his dream route for the Rally Finland, and he didn’t have to think about it for long.

Traditional Thursday

For Thursday’s shakedown, Latvala chooses Ruuhimäki.

“Rannankylä was also a great road, but let’s choose Ruuhimäki. It’s spectacular, although the middle jump is tough for your back,” laughs Latvala.

Latvala specifies that he wants the stage to be driven from north to south, as in the 80s (and 2016). At the end of the stage, there should be a technical section on a small road.

For Thursday’s spectator stage, it’s rightfully Harju, which Latvala prefers in its “old” format rather than the current loop form.

Friday’s stages from 15 years ago

At the start of Friday’s loop, Latvala selects the classics Humalamäki and Urria near Jyväskylä. The two latter stages of the loop, Kolonkulma and Väärinmaja, however, would take the route to the municipalities of Juupajoki and Ruovesi, where the WRC hasn’t been in nearly 15 years. This video shows the Kolonkulma special stage driven by Jari-Matti Latvala in 2009.

Although the route bypasses Keuruu, Latvala doesn’t want the Jukojärvi special stage in Friday’s loop.

“I never managed to drive it well,” Latvala laughs.

In Latvala’s plan, instead of a second run of Harju, Friday would end in Laajavuori.

Saturday with next year’s rules

Saturday’s loop in Latvala’s plan also heads to Jämsä. The stages are easy to choose.

“Vaheri and Ouninpohja definitely included,” states Latvala immediately.

Latvala would have Vaheri driven in the 2010 Himos style – starting with Vaheri’s big roads and ending with the forest roads familiar from the Himos stage, all the way to the ski resort. The stage can be seen in this video driven by Latvala.

In Latvala’s dream route, Saturday’s loop is completed by Juupajoki and Västilä, the latter of which Latvala admired last year. Juupajoki, on the other hand, was last driven in 2008.

In Latvala’s dream route, Saturday would have remote service in Himos, Jämsä. Thus, Latvala is already looking towards future rules, as remote services may be allowed from next year.

Sunday with artistic liberties

For Sunday, Latvala takes artistic liberties with stages driven only once. The day would start with the 2023 Laukaa and Lankamaa stages, followed by the 2010 Sirkkamäki stage, shown in the following video from the camera of Latvala’s Ford Focus WRC.

For the Power Stage, Latvala chooses Myhinpää. It would be the only stage on Sunday driven twice.

“Myhinpää is better driven from west to east. It could also include a small road section, but it’s very fast,” says Latvala.

Jari-Matti Latvala’s dream route for the Rally Finland:


Shakedown: Ruuhimäki
SS1: Harju


SS2+6 Humalamäki
SS3+7 Urria
SS4+8 Kolonkulma
SS5+10 Väärinmaja
SS11 Laajavuori


SS12+16 Juupajoki
SS13+17 Västilä
SS14+18 Ouninpohja
SS15+19 Vaheri
Remote Service: Himos


SS20 Laukaa
SS21 Lankamaa
SS22 Sirkkamäki
SS23+24 Myhinpää

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