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Four Wheel Drives

Offroad Finland

Offroad events and competitions are popular in Finland.

OffRoad History

Rover Friends Finland started the off road safaris some 20 years ago. The first competitive trials were held in 1988 and the Finnish Automobile Sports Federation recognized off road in 1991.

OffRoad Safaris

The safaris are organized by 20 local off road clubs. They have been and still are a very popular form of off road activity. Some of the local clubs have specialized into organizing safaris to Russia, which last longer than average safaris. Spending one or one and a half months in very basic conditions in Russia can be an unforgettable experience.

OffRoad Trial

Aris Jeep 1997
Ari Myllyla Jeep

The off road motor sport is called OffRoad Trial. The skill is how to handle your vehicle in difficult terrain which is more important than the speed. Actually speed does not matter at all. Finnish OffRoad Trial is considered one of the most challenging ones both to the driver and to the vehicle. Each track consist of 15 to 20 sections, where the competitor tries to avoid accumulating penalty points.

Each section has its own judge, who lists all your penalty points. The minimum section width is four meters and the minimum length of a section is 10 meters. The maximum length of one track is two kilometers. The track is made of natural obstacles. The track may be driven through only once and the starting order is drawn by lot. The track is test driven by a vehicle, which has a starting number 0, so that everyone sees that the track is driveable. The track should not change in any way during the trial.


Unimog
Kimmo Karjala Group III MB Unimog

The vehicles are divided into four groups of differing capabilities, each of which has a different track:

  • group 1, road taxed, standard vehicles - popular vehicles are Jeep CJ-series and Suzukis
  • group 2, road taxed, modified competition vehicles - popular vehicles are Toyota BJ, Volvo's, Jeeps
  • group 3, vehicles with very little restrictions
  • group Classic, new group where you can modified your more than group 2, but maximum tyre size is smaller than group 2 (group 2 max tyre size is 39" and group Classic is 35")

Year 1997 will introduce trucks into off road trials in Finland. The truck trials are popular round Europe.


Range Rover
Jare/Kari Salonen Group III Range Rover Chemog

Following is a list of 1997 events in Finland:


Competition penalty points and basic rules

Penalty PtsInfringement
1p When the vehicle is at a full stop or does not advance forward for more than 3 seconds. Full stop before reversing is allowed.
3p: Reversing is considered to be when the vehicle moves more than 10cm backwards or if the driver consciously (knowingly) gets the vehicle in a backward motion in order to change the position of the vehicle.
5p: Driving less than 1 meter outside the designated section (stage).
15p (=max): Driving more than 1 meter outside the designated section (stage).
15p (=max): Getting outside help.
15p (=max): Servicing the vehicle during a section (stage).
15p (=max): If the vehicle does not move for more than 2 minutes
20p: If the stage is not started
  • Vehicles that start a section cannot get more than 15 points.
  • The section is considered as started, when the front axle of the vehicle has passed the start line.
  • The section is considered ended, when the front axle of the vehicle has passed the finish line.
  • If the driver is not ready when the section is ready, and the judge has given the order to start, every full minute is considered as 3 minutes service time.

Range Rover
Tommi Pispala Group II Range Rover

Disqualification occurs when the competitor:

  1. Distracts a co-competitor during a section.
  2. Does not wear a helmet or does not wear a seat-belt.
  3. Does not finish the competition.
  4. Uses more than 30 minutes of service time.
  5. Is more then 10 minutes late in starting a section.

The Cup

Cup-points are given only group II and III.

1. 17 points
2. 15 points
3. 14 points
4. 13 points
5. 12 points
6. 11 points
and so on....

Popularity

Off Road Trial is one of the most popular motor sports with a lot of publicity in the national TV and local newspapers. The trials gather approximately 1000-2500 spectators. The trial held in Paimio 1993 has a record of 7500 spectators. On average there are 60-70 vehicles participating on a trial. Each trial lasts something between six and eight hours.

Contacts:

- Ari Myllyla © 1997
- pictures by Tarja Karkkainen

Go to the Finnish calendar page



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