07 Feb 08
SS9/12 Horssjon (14.89km)
A brand new addition this year, Horssjon is the most southerly stage, and on the recce there was a lot of gravel showing through the ice. The further south you get, the less snow there seems to be, and there's not much covering the roads here at all. It's very narrow and twisty the whole time and there are lots of crests and junctions. It'll be a tricky start to Saturday morning, and I think the second run will be straight down to the gravel, so tyre preservation will be key.
SS10/13 Hagfors (20.92km)
This stage was part of the 2006 rally but now has six brand new kilometers added. It's very, very fast, and there are a couple of very fast junctions which have ended crews' rallies over the years. The first couple of kilometres are twisty and technical, then there is a very fast section past a lake and a downhill blast that is so fast they've put some straw bale chicanes in to slow us down. We finish on a rallycross track in Hagfors which is just sheet ice that they've been building up in recent months.
SS11/14 Vargasen (24.63km)
This is exactly the same stage as we used last year. It starts fast then, after about 4km, it turns left at junction and gets very technical with dips, crests and 90-degree bends. Then it goes over one of the biggest jumps of the rally, which is about 10km from the start. It's known as Colin's Crest, after a particularly spectacular performance from Colin McRae and there'll be lots of spectators there. There are actually three jumps, but the Crest one is far bigger than the others - sometimes the cars are launched 2.5 metres into the air. The stage then turns right after jump and becomes very fast. It's a big wide, open main road for the last 4km to the finish.