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Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 03 Feb 2023

Sweden preparations: A busy weekend ahead

All three FIA World Rally Championship Rally1 cars will be in action tomorrow as the teams finalise their preparations for next week’s Rally Sweden (9 - 12 February).

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team drivers Ott Tänak and Jourdan Serderidis head to central Estonia for the Otepää Rally. Eight stages and 110 competitive kilometres sit in wait for the Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid pair.

Tänak is a former winner in Otepää, but it’s time in the car and the fastest possible set-up he’s after tomorrow.

“We are still understanding the car,” said Tänak, who tested the Puma for the first time on Swedish-specification roads last week. “Monte Carlo helped me with that, but that was a dry asphalt rally.”

Hyundai and Toyota send cars to the Kuopio Rally in Finland, where Esapekka Lappi and Takamoto Katsuta will light up the entry list for the Finnish Rally Championship round.

Kuopio offers similarly fast and icy roads with eight stages and 95 kilometres. Both events are known as winter rallies and will run in temperatures as low as -10°C

Both Lappi and Katsuta are familiar with Finnish rounds, but the latter admitted Kuopio, based north-east of Jyväskylä, is a new event for him.

“I didn’t do this one before,” he said. “It will be nice to be in the car before Sweden. I had a good feeling from the car on snow last year, hopefully Saturday will be the same.”

• Full coverage from Rally Sweden will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.