Offroad events and competitions are popular in Finland.
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.
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.
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.
The vehicles are divided into four groups of differing capabilities, each of which has a different track:
Year 1997 will introduce trucks into off road trials in Finland. The truck trials are popular round Europe.
Following is a list of 1997 events in Finland:
Competition penalty points and basic rules
Disqualification occurs when the competitor:
Cup-points are given only group II and III.
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.
- Ari Myllyla © 1997
Go to the Finnish calendar page
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