The WRC’s only pure winter encounter is a cross-border event which ventures deep into the frozen and remote forests of Sweden and Norway.
Organisers have rung the changes by moving the rally hub further north to Torsby to increase the prospects of snow and ice covered roads on which the event thrives. Almost 60 per cent of the competitive distance is new, although plenty of classic speed tests remain.
The action begins with big power slides at Thursday night’s spectacular super special stage at Karlstad trotting track before crews journey north for an overnight halt in Torsby.
Much of Friday’s longest leg runs in Norway. There are two identical loops of three stages, including the cross-border Röjden which starts and finishes in Sweden, with the middle section in its neighbouring country. Just the final Torsby test runs entirely in Sweden.
Hof-Finnskog has never been used before while Svullrya is driven in the opposite direction to last year.
Saturday blends two loops of classic Swedish roads near Hagfors, with the more northerly Knon test which was last driven 14 years ago. The highlight is Vargåsen, which features the famous Colin’s Crest, named in memory of the late Colin McRae. A repeat of the Karlstad stage closes the action.
Just two venues feature in Sunday’s finale. Two passes over Likenäs precede the live TV Power Stage at Torsby, which offers bonus points to the fastest five drivers. It offers a great conclusion with the test finishing inside the service park at Torsby airfield.
The 18 stages cover 331.74km in a total route of 1415.18km.