The WRC’s only true winter round characterised by frozen roads lined with snow banks.
Drivers ‘lean’ cars against the banks to guide them round corners at maximum possible speed.
Studded tyres are essential and provide remarkable grip, but drivers must acclimatise to the ‘floating’ feeling and different braking points.
Outdoor servicing in temperatures as low as -30°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.
Pirelli’s skinny Sottozero J1 ice tyres bristle with 384 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.