THE FASTEST EVENT IN THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP, the Neste Rally, has officially kicked off in Finnish Lakeland, drawing some of the most skilled and celebrated racers on the planet to this normally quiet patch of countryside.
Previous world racing champions such as Sebastien Ogier, Teemu Suminen, and Kris Meeke will be battling it out across the muddy forest landscapes of Central Finland over the course of the next couple of days. The event, often described as the 'Grand Prix' of rallying, is a critical step for those wishing to become the next WRC world champion, a title which often commands salaries of millions of euros in sponsorships and appearances.
This year's rally is expected to draw some of the biggest crowds in the event's history. Scroll down to see more photos from the opening hours of the event.
Adam Oliver Smith - HT
Image Credit: Lehtikuva