Jari-Pekka Ralli, Hartola 2021, 23.10.2021 – result: Historic 1st, General 1st

The final round of the Historic Rally Trophy 2021 was driven in the Hartola and Sysmä area. That was the final rally of the season for me as well. 

The conditions reminded me of those in Wales: cold wind, a little bit of rain and muddy roads.

However, my Celica did well but the driver started to lose his energy reserve before stage three which led to the lack of concentration. A couple of times I almost drove off the road but my co-driver Juho Hänninen made me pay attention to my mistakes and I was able to keep the car on the road. The video clip on social media of that has woken up nice feedback. 

In this rally there were six stages which went without any technical problems. The result was good: the fastest drive overall and the victory in our own category.


Askolan Granit Rally, Kerava 2021, 28.08.2021 – result: Historic 1st General 2nd

The WRC was on the summer break so I was able to find a free weekend in my busy schedule to go and participate in a rally in Kerava where I did have last year’s victory to defend. 

There were four stages, all driven once.

The first stage that I drove cautiously was the longest (18 km). The conditions were dry. The line was clean and narrow because the 2-wheel-drive cars had driven through so it was a bit difficult for me to fit in and there was one incident on the way. The car was completely sideways but luckily I managed to get it straight.

I drove the fastest time on stage two where the road was wide and the surface of it was hard country tarmac.  Now I started to push more.

On stage three I kept on braking too much but before stage four Juho Hänninen and I made a plan; to drive fast with straight lines which should improve times. It worked and we drove the fastest time on that stage. The rally ended so that I was second overall after Riku Tahko who won by 11,4 seconds. Kalle Markkanen was third. He was 2,8 seconds slower than me. All in all, becoming second between two WRC2 cars was a good result.


Korpilahti Summer Rally 2021, 12.06.2021 – result: Historic 1st, General 2nd

The second round in the Historic Rally Trophy was driven near Korpilahti where the old Jyskälä (a pet name for Neste Oil Rally) stages ran.In the start of stage one we had a bit of a mishap in the form of misunderstanding the right starting time. I asked the stage marshall if I should start on the next minute. I received an answer which was:“On the next” which meant the next lights. So I missed my starting moment and it took me 15 seconds before I realised that I should have been racing already. When I was finally on the road my co-driver Juho told me to take it easy and said that we could catch those missed seconds later on. Hänninen was convincing enough and I did keep my temper so everything went smoothly. We put the mess of stage one behind us before stage two which was Saalahti, a very familiar stage for me both as a test stage or as a WRC stage. I let the car fly but did not take any unnecessary risks. It was great to drive and my Celica ran beautifully on the roads of Central Finland. There was a minor inconvenience because the engine temperature started to rise a bit which took some of the engine power off. Nothing major. The rest of the stages went excellently and we certainly had fun with Juho, we even had time to give some comments during the race. We won our category (Historic) and were second overall. We lost the overall victory by 4,5 seconds which was slightly irritating because without the mishap and my waiting in the start of stage one we might have had a better result in the finish.


Mesikämmen Rally 2021, 13.02.2021 – result: 1st

Mesikämmen Rally 2020 had to be cancelled because of bad winter (no winterlike conditions) and Mesikämmen Rally 2021 was under a threat of cancellation due to Covid 19, but the organisers did a great job and the rally could be driven without an audience.  There were four stages in the rally. Three of which were driven in the Töysä area and one was driven in Myllymäki, Ähtäri. These roads were homeroads for me.  Stage two went past my Granny’s place using the road where I used to practise when I was 16. I was really looking forward to this rally because it was in 2006 when I had last raced past my Granny’s house. We drove my good, old familiar Toyota Celica, as did my father Jari, too. So Latvala Motorsport had two cars in the race.

The competition went well. It was enjoyable to drive in that wintery scenery. There was enough snow and the temperature was properly below zero. I hadn’t raced for a while so my driving was a bit angulated at first until my co-driver Juho Hänninen told me to keep the front of the car inside and make the car come out of the corners in a straight position. Only one note was too slow which made me throttle down in vain. My Dad was also able to drive a harmonious race although I had to grab some snow and put out a small fire under his car at the finish of the last stage. There was a small crack in the turbo oil pipe.

We won my own category, the Historic. We were the fastest overall, but I was having an advantage of driving on home ground. I was glad to see how my Dad drove after a break of two years in racing: he was second (after me) in his category (the Historic) and 11th overall.

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