Updated: Jan 8
HELSINKI, Finland. (January 3, 2022). Era Motorsport driver Kyle Tilley, joined by co-driver Alex Gelsomino, will take part in the 57th running of the Arctic Lapland Rally taking place January 14-15, 2022. The pair, who recently raced their way to an overall win in the 2021 Big White Winter Rally, will be fielding a Hyundai i20 prepared by Redgrey and run by RTRC, the official Hyundai Motorsport team of Finland. Eighty-six driver and co-driver pairings have entered the upcoming event from ten countries with Tilley and Gelsomino being the team traveling the furthest distance to compete.
The rally includes ten stages in which the competitors will battle the snow, ice and frigid temperatures to race against the clock in the Lappish wilderness. With over 220 miles to traverse, this will be the longest rally of Tilley’s career. "I'm super excited to be off to compete in Arctic Rally Lapland; it's going to be unlike anything I've done previously! Running on the WRC Spec 8.5mm stud will be a learning curve, but I'm told the grip is like tarmac. That's going to take some getting my head around! Joining me on notes is Alex Gelsomino who was instrumental in putting the deal together along with my teammate Riku Tahko. We are fortunate to have an open Reece as well as a fair bit of pre-event testing. I'm looking forward to the seat time!"
Tilley is joined by expert co-driver Alex Gelsomino of Oz Rally Pro who boasts 320 rallies under his belt. The pair recently spent time facing winter driving conditions competing in the Big White Winter Rally in British Columbia, Canada. Never having driven in snow and ice conditions, this was an integral part of Tilley’s preparations.
"I’m looking forward to competing at the Arctic Lapland Rally with Kyle and RTRC Rally," stated Gelsomino. "It’s a classic event that is on every rallyst’s bucket list, so to be able to participate with a proper car will definitely be one of the highlights for the year. I have competed in Finland a handful of times in my career, but always on summer events. To attend this rally will be a special experience, and I’m looking forward to see the stages in next week’s recce.
"Kyle and I have a comprehensive test scheduled prior to the rally, so that will be important to get ourselves as comfortable as possible with the conditions and the WRC spec studded tires that weren’t allowed in our last winter event in Canada, a month ago." About BWWR, Gelsomino stated, “(Kyle) was patient, and that’s what is really important in this type of event. You just learn kilometer after kilometer.”
To add to the excitement of the event, the team will sport an exciting art inspired livery on both car and suits. "Our car is certainly going to stand out," says Tilley. "I can't wait to release the pics of it. Keep an eye on social media on the 9th of Jan!"
With only three hours of daylight, below freezing temperatures, a new studded tire, a completely different car, and a terrain that is new to both teammates, the Arctic Lapland Rally is certain to be full of challenges, but the biggest challenges come with the best rewards. Be sure to follow along for updates on the epic event. Live broadcasting will be available via rallism.fi and tracking through the RallySafe app available on iOS and Android devices. For full event details, visit arcticrally.fi.
Friday, 14 January 2022
11:00 Ceremonial start
11:43 SS 1 Aittajärvi – 23,55 km
12:56 SS 2 Mäntyvaara 1 – 3,50 km
15:59 SS 3 Kaihuavaara – 27,93 km
17:32 SS 4 Siikakämä – 30,00 km
19:05 SS 5 Mäntyvaara 2 – 3,50 km
Saturday, 15 January 2022
09:43 SS 6 Ahmavaara – 44,61 km
11:26 SS 7 Ounasvaara – 1,65 km
14:39 SS 8 Heinunkierto – 24,95 km
16:02 SS 9 Sarriojärvi – 32,50 km
17:35 SS 10 Ristilampi – 31,51 km
19:50 Podium Ceremonies
Special Stage Kilometres
Friday: 88,48 km
Saturday: 135,22 km
Total: 223,70 km
Route in total: 799,99 km
In the discipline of rally, the event schedule is composed of reconnaissance, termed “recce” during which competitors write their own pace notes. Participants drive the course at slow speeds before the official competition stages begin, composing their own road map for the team to follow. Even with expert notes, competitors must always remain alert and aware as road conditions can change at the drop of a hat. During competition, competitors are set off at minute intervals to attempt to set the best time for each sector. To win the rally, the team must complete all stages in the least amount of time.