|Stages:||21 (332,13 km)|
- The action begins with Thursday night’s traditional super special at Karlstad trotting track, which is repeated 48 hours later.
- Much of Friday’s opening leg is in Norway with a tyre-change opportunity in Kirkenær. It includes the cross border Röjden stage.
- Saturday comprises classic stages in the frozen forests around Hagfors, including the famous Colin’s Crest in Vargåsen.
- The final day returns to the same area for four tests, including the rally-closing Power Stage in Värmullsåsen, before the Karlstad finish.
- The only true winter round and a classic Rally Sweden will be characterised by frozen roads lined with snow banks.
- Drivers ‘lean’ cars against the banks to guide them round corners. But in warmer temperatures the banks disintegrate on impact and cars become stuck in the snow.
- Studded tyres are essential and provide remarkable grip but drivers must acclimatise to the ‘floating’ feeling and different braking points.
- When temperatures hover around freezing, the studs tear up the road surface and exposed gravel rips them from the tyres to leave little traction.
- Outdoor servicing in temperatures as low as -25°C makes normally routine jobs slower and tricky for gloved mechanics.
- Loose surface specification but engineering solutions required to make engines work at peak performance in unrelenting cold.
- Skinny tyres are fitted with about 380 tungsten-tipped steel studs to bite into the frozen roads. Each stud is 20mm long and weighs 4g. However, just 7mm is exposed, with the rest inserted into the rubber to provide a strong anchor.
- Shovels are mandatory in case competitors have to dig their cars out of snow.
- First run in 1950 when it was called the Rally to the Midnight Sun as it was held in summer. It became a winter event in 1965.
- It featured in the inaugural championship in 1973 and has been dominated by Scandinavians, who won every year until 2004 when Sébastien Loeb broke the mould. Sébastien Ogier is the only other ‘outsider’ to win.
- Stig Blomqvist and Marcus Grönholm top the roll of honour with five wins each.
What’s new for 2016
- The service park will be in Karlstad Harbour after several years further north in Hagfors.
- More than a quarter of the special stage distance is new compared to 2015.
- There are no mid-leg service points, with service only available at the start and finish of each leg.
- Colin’s Crest in Saturday’s Vargåsen stage. As a mark of respect for the late Colin McRae an award is made for the longest jump here.
- Thierry Neuville set a new record in 2015 with a 44 metre leap.
Rally Sweden 2016