Sweden : Preview
The Swedish Rally is just one of two rallies that is expected to be a true snow event. 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 rally.
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... With the exception of Loeb who broke the tradition by taking the victory in 2004.
In 2005 Petter Solberg took the victory, bringing back the tradition of Scandinavian winners in Sweden while Marcus Gronholm
took the victory last year.
Bruno VALETTE © CAPSIS International