The championship's only pure winter round is a cross-border classic that ventures deep into the frozen forests of Sweden and neighbouring Norway.
This year's 66th edition [15 – 18 February] builds on last year's route, with a start from Karlstad in Sweden's Värmland region, and a service park, finish and podium ceremony 102km north at Torsby airport. Most of the stage names are familiar, but almost a quarter of the stage kilometres are new compared to 2017.
The action begins with big power slides on Thursday night’s spectacular 1.9km super special stage at Karlstad trotting track before crews head to an overnight halt in Torsby.
Much of Friday’s longest leg runs in Norway. There are two identical loops of three stages, Hof-Finnskog [21.26km] Svullrya [24.88km] and the 19.13km cross-border Röjden which starts and finishes in Sweden, with the middle section in its neighbouring country. Just the final Torsby test [9.56km] runs entirely in Sweden.
Saturday blends two loops of classic Swedish roads near Hagfors. The flat-out Torntorp [19.88km] returns to the itinerary and is followed by Hagfors [23.40km] and the day's highlight Vargåsen, [14.21km] which features the famous Colin’s Crest, named in memory of the late Colin McRae. A repeat of the Karlstad stage and the 3.43km Torsby sprint close the action.
Just two roads feature in Sunday’s finale. Two passes over Likenäs [21.19km] 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 .
The 19 stages cover 314.25km across a total route of 1400.79km.
- Thursday night’s opening ceremony at Karlstad trotting track. Meet the drivers, grab autographs and selfies and watch mega-slides in the two-at-a-time special stage.
- Colin’s Crest in Vargåsen is one of the WRC’s great spectating locations. Brilliant atmosphere and high-flying cars - and the WRC’s stars visit twice on Saturday.
- Saturday night in Torsby will be magic. Watch the final section of the 3.13km sprint stage before strolling into the service park to watch the teams at work on their cars.
- Sunday in Torsby is just as good. The final Power Stage ends on the same roads as Saturday night’s test before the podium minutes later in the service park. You might have to run to catch both!
- Magnificent classic cars from the past will compete in Rally Sweden Historic on Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the WRC rally.