Snow, ice and even more snow! Over the last few weeks, the Hagfors region has enjoyed perfect wintry weather conditions. Very cold temperatures followed heavy snowfall to create a thick layer of icy snow on the roads. And more recent snowfall has consolidated the white covering just a few days from the start.
It is a long time since conditions for the Rally Sweden have been so promising. If the situation doesn’t change in the coming days, the surface should remain consistent throughout the event. The studs will therefore become less worn and all the fans will be treated to a great show!
THE 2015-SPEC DS 3 WRC PUT TO THE TEST
A few days after making a successful debut at Monte-Carlo, the 2015-spec DS 3 WRC will be faced with another challenge in Sweden. The work on the car’s aerodynamics this winter will give it a significant advantage on these high-speed stages. The engine’s power will be fully unleashed and the drivers will also be able to use the steering wheel-mounted paddles for every gear change.
Featuring the revised rear suspension geometry, which makes the car easier to drive, the 2015-spec DS 3 WRC is significantly quicker and more efficient.
Having claimed podium finishes in Karlstad for the last four years, this is practically Mads Østberg’s home rally. Some of the stages held on Friday cross over the border into Norway and his co-driver Jonas Andersson is Swedish. Mads made his WRC debut in Sweden during the 2006 season, at just 18 years of age. Fourth in Monte-Carlo, he has a good opportunity to shine on the Värmland ice. And to prepare for the forthcoming WRC round as effectively as possible, he will be competing at the Finnskog Rally, the Norwegian Championship event, this Saturday, 7 February in the DS 3 WRC.
In the second car entered by the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, Kris Meeke has more limited experience here. With only one previous appearance at Rally Sweden in 2014, the Briton is less familiar with the snow and icy conditions than the vast majority of his rivals. His performances with the DS 3 WRC would nonetheless suggest he has real potential on this surface.
Five crews will be taking part in DS 3 R5s. Winner of the opening round of the FIA WRC2 Championship, Stéphane Lefebvre continues to learn about rallying at this level with his debut appearance in Sweden. The Frenchman has decided not to nominate this round as one of his points-scoring rallies. Competing in the WRC2 category, Anders Grondal will be one of the favourites. The Swedish drivers Robin Friberg and Thomas Thunström and the Estonian Karl Kruuda have also opted to drive in a DS 3 R5, but they are not competing in the championship. Meanwhile, after finishing on the podium on his first outing in the FIA Junior WRC, the Norwegian Ole-Christian Veiby will be trying to win the two-wheel drive category in a DS 3 R3-MAX.