01 Feb 08
"It's not so easy when the conditions aren't so good. A lack of snow isn't too much of a problem but if there is no ice and the gravel comes through the surface, then it can rip out the studs from the tyres and destroy them. Where the lack of snow becomes a problem is if a driver needs to use the snowbanks. If you carry too much speed into a bend you can lean into the snow banks to guide the car round the corner. But if they are small and soft, when the rear of the car hits the bank it can drag the front in as well. It's important to keep the front wheels turned away from the bank to avoid that," said Latvala.
Driving a third official Focus RS and making his Swedish debut is Abu Dhabi's Khalid Al Qassimi and co-driver Michael Orr. "It's difficult to think about how I will approach the rally itself. I've only driven on snow and ice for one brief test about a year ago and so have little experience. However, it's clear that it will be completely different to asphalt or gravel," said 35-year-old Al Qassimi.
"The right approach will only come from as much mileage on the rally as possible. We'll start at a steady pace to understand the conditions and how the car works in them and build from there. I gather that the driving technique on snow and ice is to keep the wheels spinning so the studs cut into the ice as much as possible, but of course I won't be able to develop that until I arrive for the rally," he added.