After a mild Christmas and New Year, winter has finally taken hold in Sweden’s Varmland region, with sub-zero temperatures and 40cms of snow awaiting the competitors on Rally Sweden.
The second round of the World Rally Championship will run from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 8 February, with the stage action based around the service park in Hagfors, 84km north of host city Karlstad.
Rally Sweden’s Clerk of the Course, Christina Lundqvist Viklund, gave wrc.com her verdict on this year’s conditions.
“After a mild start to the year, we have had a lot of snow in the last couple of weeks and all the stages are fully covered,” Lundqvist Viklund explained.
“There is some variation in the surface, however. The stages that are used as public roads are harder-packed because of the traffic, while the private roads have a softer surface.
“I’d say conditions are good for the competitors. This is a winter rally and we have cold temperatures, plenty of snow on the roads and snow banks. One thing we are missing this year is a thick layer of ice on the roads. For this to happen we need some warm weather to melt the snow a little, and then another cold spell to re-freeze it.”
With five days to go until the start of the rally reconnaissance, Lundqvist Viklund said the weather outlook was encouraging.
“A lot of snow fell on Tuesday (28 Jan) in Hagfors and Karlstad and although the forecast is changing daily there’s a good chance of more before the rally starts. We expect the temperature during the rally will be somewhere between zero and -10 degrees Celsius,” she added.