Home-grown drivers – many of whom grew up on the roads around host town Jyväskylä and happily hurled cars between the trees while still in short trousers – ruled the roost in the early years of an event originally dubbed the ‘1000 Lakes’ during the 1970s and ’80s. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Scandinavian stranglehold was broken. Up to that point, Finns Timo Mäkinen, Hannu Mikkola, Markku Alén, Kyösti Hämäläinen, Ari Vatanen, Timo Salonen and Swede Mikael Ericsson had done all the winning.
When Northern Irishman Kris Meeke took victory in the 2016 edition just a few weeks ago, he not only became the first British driver to win, he joined an elite band of only six non-Scandinavians to triumph in rallying’s ultimate white-knuckle ride. Here, we celebrate those occasions when foreign fever proved too much, even for the flying Finns.