Although ice and snow was once again absent from the stages of this year's Monte Carlo Rally, wintry conditions shouldn't escape the Swedish Rally, the second round of the 2008 World Rally Championship. For the calendar's only all-out winter fixture, CitroŽn Total has entered C4 WRCs
for Sebastien Loeb
/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc MartŪ.
The line-up of CitroŽn entries in Sweden will also include a privately-entered C4 WRC for Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk and a Xsara WRC entered by Conrad Rautenbach/David Senior. These cars are prepared and run PH Sport with support from CitroŽn Sport Technologies technicians.
The event continues to be based in Sweden's Všrmland region but this season's visit features a significantly revised format, since some 60 per cent of the stages are new compared with recent years. Indeed, the organisers have profited from the scope offered by the concept of remote service zones to strike further afield and return to classic territory that hasn't been used since 2000.
The Swedish Rally's gently undulating, flowing roads have long been a hit with the drivers who tend to cite the event amongst their favourites. "Competing on these extremely fast, icy stages is sheer delight," confirms Sebastien Loeb
. "Controlling long, high-speed power-slides, setting up the car for corners and using the snowbanks to stay on line is a great experience. When the studs give good grip, it really is a fantastic rally."