Rally Sweden, the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship, is the only truly winter event on the calendar, where contenders power machinery over snow-covered frozen stages in both Sweden and Norway during one of the Championship’s fastest rallies. The event is once again based in Karlstad, although this year at a new Headquarters at the Karlstad Congress Culture Centre, while the service park is located 85 kilometres away at Hagfors airport.
The winter wonderland backdrop may provide spectacular scenery, but Rally Sweden’s sub-zero temperatures demand specific preparation and place huge demands on man and machinery. The cars are also equipped with special tyres; tungsten-tipped steel studs protrude from narrow winter tyres providing amazing grip as they bite through the frozen road surface.
Three stages are scheduled to be broadcast live on television, both nationally and internationally; the Karlstad Super Special Stage on Wednesday and both runs through Värmullsåsen on Saturday – the second run being the closing Power Stage.
RALLY SWEDEN – ROUTE GRAPHICS
THE 2014 ROUTE
The first full day of competition on Thursday starts in Sweden but heads across the border to Norway for two loops of two identical stages. The day closes with a second run around the all-new Torsby stage in Sweden, this time in darkness. Friday’s route takes the crews to the east of Hagfors for two loops of four stages before heading to Karlstad for the second and final run over the super special stage. On Saturday the contenders head to well-known stages around Hagfors, including two runs through the Vargåsen stage, where cars fly over the famous Colin’s Crest and a special award is presented for the longest jump. The rally finishes with the all-important Power Stage; Värmullsåsen.
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