WRC 2021 Arctic Rally Finland Expert Analysis Update

WRC 2021 Arctic Rally Finland Expert Analysis Update

Written by on February 26, 2021

One of the biggest fears for sports fans is that events will get wiped out due to the pandemic, just as we saw for a large part of 2020. The early signs in the WRC were a little concerning when the Arctic Rally in Sweden was cancelled due to COVID concerns, but the good news was that the WRC were able to act quickly and move the event to Finland. This weekend will see the drivers hit the snow and ice for the Arctic Rally Finland in what should be a real test of their driving skills. It’s the usual list of favorites at the top of the bookies board, but might we see one young driver finally land his first win in the WRC this weekend? Let’s take a look at the favorites so you can bet against their WRC odds.

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Sebastien Ogier

You cannot talk about potential winners for any race in the WRC without talking about the Frenchman. Ogier has won the world championship 7 times already and sent a clear message that he wants to win it again after winning in Monte Carlo in the opening weekend of the season. This race, though, is a very different proposition, and while we have little to go on with races in Finland, we can look at previous Artic Rally’s in Sweden. Ogier does have some wins in this type of event, but it has been 4 years since he last took a podium spot in the snow, so he may be beatable here.

Elfyn Evans

The Welshman took a big step forward last season, finishing 2nd in the driver standings, which is where he sits now after a very good run in Monte Carlo in the opening weekend of the WRC season. Evans had a pair of wins in the 2020 season, one of which came in the Artic Rally in Sweden, so there is every reason to believe that he could be in the running to win again this weekend. This represents a real opportunity for Evan to get to the top of the standings in the early going and apply some pressure to the championship hopefuls.

Ott Tanak

After winning the championship in 2019, Tanak had to settle for third last season after getting off to a rough start in Monte Carlo, where he was forced to retire. He will be hoping that he will not suffer the same fate this time around, as Tanak saw his 2021 season get off to the exact same start after failing to finish in Monte Carlo once again. He needs a great run this weekend, and with 3 podium finishes, including 1 win, in his last 5 Arctic Rally’s, you would need to like his chances.

Kalle Rovanpera

Ordinarily, you wouldn’t feel inclined to wager on a driver who has yet to pick up his first win in the WRC, albeit in a very short career to this point. That all changes, though, when a race is switched to that driver’s backyard, which is what is happening with the Finnish driver. Another thing to consider is that Rovanpera has a lone podium finish in his WRC career, that one coming in the Arctic Rally in Sweden last season.