Volkswagen will complete a five-day test in Sweden today (Thursday) with its Polo R WRC. Latvala won Sweden’s FIA World Rally Championship qualifier in 2008 and again last February during his stint with the works Ford squad. Despite the Finn’s record on the snow event and his extensive test programme in Sweden, Latvala is ruling out more success on the Karlstad-based round from 7-10 February.
“I love driving on snow and always enjoyed it in Sweden,” said Latvala. “I hope to be able to fight for the podium places in Sweden, that will be fantastic but we have to be realistic and we can’t pressurise ourselves too much. We’re a new team with a new car. You can do thousands of kilometres of testing, you can be very fast but when you do a rally it’s a different story. It’s a different stage every time and to see exactly where [your pace is] is difficult in testing.”
Next year’s Rally Sweden forms round two of the 13-event WRC season. It consists of 22 stages over a competitive distance of 339 kilometres with the start and finish in Karlstad and the permanent service park in Hagfors. Friday’s route is based in the Hagfors region, Saturday’s stages take place east of the town with the bulk of Sunday’s action taking place over the border in Norway.