Sweden Rally 2006: Preview
The only round of the championship that is run entirely on snow, the International Swedish Rally has been the playing field for numerous Scandinavian drivers until Sebastien Loeb
won the event in 2004. Until then, the non-Scandinavian drivers managed
to finish on the podium but never to win the race.
Swede Stig Blomqvist, an emblematic figure in the 70s and 80s still holds the incredible record of seven wins at the Swedish Rally. In temperatures around the minus 40°C mark, the event necessitates a rigorous car preparation.
The stages in the Varmland forest are very fast and spectacular. In these conditions, there is never a question as to what type of tyres to use: studded tyres are the norm to bite on the ice and give enough grip on these fast (near a 120 km/h average) stages.
The grip is at a minimum and using narrow tyres with a large number of studs is the only way of having a chance. These points demonstrate to what extent only the specialists have a hope of winning here and in fact, over the last ten editions of the rally only Swedes and Finns have won… until Sebastien Loeb
broke the tradition by taking the victory in 2004.
Last year Petter Solberg took the victory, bringing back the tradition of Scandinavian winners in Sweden.
Hugo GIGUERE © CAPSIS International