Stuart Loudon Rally Sweden clear guide

Stuart Loudon Rally Sweden clear guide

10.02.2016: Hello. So, snow. Except this time the story’s about the snow’s Swedish no-snow.

Hello. So, snow. Except this time the story’s about the snow’s Swedish no-snow.

It’s a huge shame that the recent warm weather has conspired to take the edge off what has to be one of the biggest sporting spectacles of the season: World Rally Cars dancing on ice.

The World Rally Championship is full of stop-you-in-your-tracks moments and the sight of a World Rally Car on the lock-stops – front corner nibbling a snowbank at the apex while the opposite corner leans on a wall and fires powder 15 feet in the air – is right up there. Right up there.

But it’s not to be this time. The warm weather has forced a complete rethink of the route and even blizzard conditions for the rest of the week wouldn’t be enough to deliver the perfect winter rally. Recipe for perfect winter roads: heavy (like heavy, heavy) snow, semi-melt, deep-freeze, light snow shower.

The semi-melt puts moisture into the road and snow base which, when frozen hard, provides a rock-solid ice base for the studded tyres to dig into. The freeze will also pack the snowbanks really hard, allowing the guys to go a gear higher through some corners.

We’re missing a couple of elements of that recipe this week!

This week will be about staying out of trouble and keeping as many studs in place as possible. That in itself provides an intriguing event, however. Let’s see who can drive smart as well as super-quick in these compromised and challenging conditions.

It might not be perfect, but it’s round two of the FIA World Rally Championship – what’s not to get excited about!

Just before I go, you might notice a bit of a change around with these previews: it’s more me than Tunnock’s. Don’t worry, I’m still engineering the best Snowballs (and the only Snowballs in the WRC this week…) in the world, but I’m also working my socks off to realise my dream of becoming a professional co-driver in the World Rally Championship. Tunnock’s is pretty well known already; Stuart Loudon less so. Hence the new colours.

The rally ahead…

FIA World Rally Championship round 2/14
Date: February 11-14, 2016

Based: Karlstad
Service: Karlstad
Stages: 13 (original route included 21)
Competitive distance: 241.48km (150.05 miles)
Liaison distance: 1155.31km (717.90 miles)
Total distance: 1396.79km (867.96 miles)
Longest stage: Vargåsen SS12/16 24.70km (15.34 miles)
Shortest stage: Karlstad (SS7) 1.90km (1.18 miles)
Currency: Swedish Krona
Time difference: GMT+1
Language: Swedish
Sweden population: 9.8m
Capital: Stockholm
Sunrise: 0759
Sunset: 1642


Shakedown was scheduled for Thursday, but has been cancelled due to weather conditions.


Thursday February 11

Ceremonial start – Karlstad 2004

Friday February 12

SS2 Torsby 1 16.48km (10.24 miles) 0851
SS3 Röjden 1 18.47km (11.47 miles) 0953
SS4 Svullrya 1 24.23km (15.05 miles) 1053
Tyre zone Kirkenær 1149
SS7 Svullrya 2 24.23km (15.05 miles) 1318
SS8 Röjden 2 18.47km (11.47 miles) 1413
SS9 Torsby 2 16.48km (10.24 miles) 1528
Service Karlstad 1732

Saturday February 13

SS10 Fredriksberg 18.19km (11.30 miles) 0811
SS12 Vargåsen 1 24.70km (15.34 miles) 1008
Tyre zone Hagfors 1115
SS14 Rämmen 2 2.76km (14.14 miles) 1224
SS15 Vargåsen 2 24.70km (15.34 miles) 1338
SS17 Karlstad 1.90km (1.18 miles) 1811
Service Karlstad 1841

Sunday February 14

SS20 Lesjöfors 15.00km (9.32 miles)
SS21 Värmullsåsen 15.87km (9.86 miles)
Finish Karlstad 1500

Last year…

Dramatic powerstages didn’t get any more dramatic than Sweden last year. Going into the final Värmullsåsen stage, just 4.6 seconds separated Thierry Neuville in third from Andreas Mikkelsen in first place. Sebastien Ogier was second. And then, 8m05.6s later, the Frenchman was first. Half a minute in a snow bank ended Mikkelsen’s dream and left the super-talented Norwegian in tears at the finish.

Result: 1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2h55m30.5s; 2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) +6.4s; 3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +39.8s

Top 10 entries

1 Sébastien Ogier/Juliene Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
3 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC
4 Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC)
5 Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
6 Eric Camilli/Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
7 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC)
9 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)
12 Ott Tanak/Raigo Molderr (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
14 Khalid Al-Qassimi/Chris Patterson (DS 3 WRC)

Leading WRC2 runners:

31 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Škoda Fabia R5)
32 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Škoda Fabia R5)
34 Eyvind Brynildsen/Anders Fredriksson (Ford Fiesta R5)
40 Sander Parn/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5)
44 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
45 Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Skjaermoen (Škoda Fabia R5)
46 Marius Aasen/Veronica Engan (Ford Fiesta R5)
47 Emil Bergqvist/Joachim Sjõberg (DS 3 R5)

Leading WRC3 runner:

61 Michel Fabre/Maxime Vilmot (DS 3 R3-Max)

Stuart Loudon’s key stage:

All of them… It's impossible to pick out one individual stage this time around. With the weather so marginal, every one of them will be key. If the big freeze does come, then it’s certain to favour the cars running at the front of the field; once a few cars start passing across the surface, the ice will be broken and disturbed, allowing gravel to come through.

Stuart will be watching… Craig Breen #15 DS 3 WRC

Craig’s waited so long for this opportunity and he’s one of those guys that really deserves his shot at the top flight. He and Scott Martin are two of the most talented guys around in the sport right now and, while this will be a bit of a baptism of fire, I have no doubt they’ll do a fantastic job.

Weather with you:

Well, it’s like this… winter hasn’t really done its thing this year and that means the stages are far from wintry. The hope is that a big freeze from the middle of the end of this week will save the roads and save the rally. Today (Tuesday) it’s five degrees in Karlstad.

Forecasts vary from it dropping to between zero and -6 in the coming days, with some snow and rain falling.

Tunnock’s Restaurant recommendation:

Ristorante Alfie, Karlstad (+46 (0) 54 216262). The best – and probably only – place for a pint (actually, it’s just short of a pint) of lager and a plate of garlic snails.

Recent winners Rally Sweden:

2005: Petter Solberg/Phil Mills (Subaru Impreza WRC)

2006: Marcus Gröholm/Timo Rautiainen (Ford Focus RS WRC 06)

2007: Marcus Gröholm/Timo Rautiainen (Ford Focus RS WRC 06)

2008: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Ford Focus RS WRC 07)

2010  Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Focus RS WRC 09)

2011  Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)

2012: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)

2013: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

2014: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

2015: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

Most successful driver on Sweden’s round of the WRC:

Stig Blomqvist, Marcus Gröholm (5 wins); Kenneth Eriksson, Jari-Matti Latvala, Tommi Mäkinen (3 wins).

Stuart Loudon is a semi-professional co-driver who has started 52 rallies, 18 of which are rounds of the World Rally Championship and one of which was with an Ashes-winning English cricketer. He makes biscuits in the family business when he’s not working towards his dream of becoming a factory co-driver in the WRC.

Sandra Evans- photos Red Bull, Volkswagen


10.02.2016 / MaP

More News

Weather forces Sweden route revamp
Rally Sweden (11 - 14 February) has shrugged off fears of cancellation due to above zero temperatures and rain by announcing a revised route for this week’s second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.Melting snow and ice threatened the s more >>
Pirelli introduces new Sottozero Ice 1 tyre for Sweden Rally
Sweden is one of the most specialised events on the world rally calendar, calling for the ultimate in grip and traction over surfaces that are often too slippery to stand up on. On this year’s event, Pirelli introduces more >>
Rally Sweden news 2016
Start Date:     11.02.2016End Date:     14.02.2016Timezone:     UTC 1Category:     WRC3WRC2WRCStages:     21 (332,13 km)Distance:     1592,74 more >>
M-Sport seek success in Sweden Rally
M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mads Østberg and Eric Camilli head to the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship with very different objectives, but both will be keen to make their mark on the snow-covered stages of Rally Sweden.  more >>
Evans and Brynildsen join a host of Fiesta R5 Evos in Sweden
M-Sport World Rally Team will field two Ford Fiesta R5 Evos at Rally Sweden as Elfyn Evans and Eyvind Brynildsen fly the flag in the FIA World Rally Championship’s (WRC) principal support series. Contesting the WRC 2 category, more >>
Abu Dhabi Total WRT Team drivers quotes ahead of Sweden Rally
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2016QUOTE, UNQUOTEKris Meeke (#7): “It’s true that I don’t have a lot of experience in Sweden, but this is one of my favourite rallies! Driving in these conditions is a genuinely u more >>
Meeke, Al-Qassimi and Breen up for Swedish challenge
Three cars have been entered by the Abu Dhabi Total WRT at Rally Sweden (11-14 February). Following their impressive performance in Monte-Carlo, Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle will be joined in Scandinavia by Khalid Al-Qassimi/Chris Patterson and Craig Breen/Scott Martin. more >>
Volkswagen drivers quotes ahead of the Rally Sweden
WRC Rallyes - Rally Sweden 2016Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1“It is obviously fantastic to travel to Sweden on the back of a dream start t more >>
Volkswagen full of ambition ahead of unique WRC round in Sweden
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2016-   #WinterThunderland – Rally Sweden the only WRC rally on ice and snow-    From youngsters to one of the hot favourites: Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-&nbs more >>
Brynildsen gets new Evolution Ford Fiesta R5 for Rally Sweden
Continuing M-Sport’s close partnership with Adapta Motorsport, Eyvind Brynildsen will take to the wheel of the new evolution Ford Fiesta R5 at next month’s Rally Sweden. Joining forces with Elfyn Evans, the pairing more >>
SKODA startet bei der WM-Rallye in Schweden in das Motorsportjahr 2016
› Werksfahrer Pontus Tidemand (S), Jan Kopecký (CZ) und Esapekka Lappi (FIN) gehen auch 2016 für ŠKODA an den Start › Navigator Jonas Andersson (S) verstärkt die ŠKODA Motorsportfamilie › Hrab& more >>
Emil Bergkvist mit Audex Motorsport erfolgreich auf Schnee und Eis
Es war erst der zweite Einsatz von Emil Bergkvist im Opel Adam R2. Doch gemeinsam mit Audex Motorsport, dem Team, das ihn auch auf dem Weg zum Titel im ADAC Opel Rallye Cup begleitete, überzeugte Bergkvist beim WM-Lauf in seiner Heimat nicht nur die schwedischen F more >>
Hyundai Motorsport takes spectacular podium as Neuville claims 2nd in Sweden
The Hyundai Motorsport team stepped onto the WRC podium for the fourth time in its short history as Thierry Neuville stormed to second place in Rally Sweden, round two of the FIA World Rally Championship, in his Hyundai i20 WRC car.The result keeps Hyund more >>
Kubica and Protasov set fastest times with Pirelli in Sweden Rally
Photo caption: Protasov took his first WRC points finish with PirelliFor the first time since Pirelli’s return to rallying last year, two different privateer drivers have set more >>
WRC Rallyes standings after Sweden Rally 2015
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall StandingsDrivers' Championship    points1.    Sébastien Ogier    532.    Andreas Mikkelsen    30 more >>
Volkswagen Rally Team: Quotes after day three of the Rally Sweden
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)15 February 2015   RALLY SWEDENSébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1“An unbelievable finale. I am incredibly proud of this win. It is certainly one of my best. more >>
Volkswagen driver Ogier wins in Sweden, ahead of Neuville and Mikkelsen
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)15 February 2015   RALLY SWEDENDramatic finale in Sweden-    Double world champion beats young guns: Ogier pips Neuville and Mikkelsen to win-  more >>
M-Sport figt back to strong finish in Sweden
M-Sport World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans showcased the determination that will see them go far at this weekend’s Rally Sweden. Overcoming earlier issues, the pairing recovered strongly to secure fourth and sixth place overall. more >>
Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Sweden Rally finish
WRC Rallyes:   RALLY SWEDEN (12-15/02/2015) – FINISHSee you in Mexico !•    Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson ended Rally Sweden in the top 10 to score important point more >>
WRC2, WRC3 final standings in Sweden
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 20151.     40     FIN  J. KETOMAA     WRC2     RC2     3:05:07.4         3:05:07.4     +4.2     +9:36.92.     71     NOR  E. BRYNILDSEN    more >>
Retirements in Sweden Rally 2015
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 20152     FIN  J. LATVALAVolkswagen Polo R WRC     M     RC1     TC21C   &n more >>
Sweden Rally final stage overall standings - Ogier win
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2015S20 Värmullsåsen 1 (15.87 km)1.     1     FRA  S. OGIER     M     2:55:30.5         more >>
Max Zellhofer hat bei Rallye WM Lauf in Schweden sein Ziel erreicht
Er belegt mit Co-Pilot Andre Kachel auf dem Suzuki Swift S1600 den 37. PlatzGesamtsieger wird nach einem Superfight bis zur letzten Sonderprüfung  Weltmeister Sebastien Ogier (F) vor Thierry more >>
SS21 power stage overall standings in Sweden top 15
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2015S21 Värmullsåsen 2 (Power Stage) (15.87 km)1.     1     FRA  S. OGIER     2:55:30.5         more >>
SS20 overall standings in Sweden
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2015S20 Värmullsåsen 1 (15.87 km)1.     9     NOR  A. MIKKELSEN     2:47:21.9         2.     1 more >>
Neuville loose lead in Sweden
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2015Neuville’s intercom issues began just 500 metres after the start. “I had a lot of interference in the intercom and it was disturbing. Nicolas (co-driver Gilsoul) couldn’ more >>
Points up for grabs for the Citroen DS3 WRC's in Sweden
RALLY SWEDEN (12-15/02/2015) – DAY 2•    Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson head into the final day of Rally Sweden fourth overall in the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s DS 3 WRC. more >>
Zellhofer/Kachel: Der Weg in Richtung Zielankunft passt momentan perfekt
-  Nach einer Schrecksekunde am Freitagabend verlief die zweite Etappe der Schweden-Rallye für Max Zellhofer/Andre Kachel heute ohne große Probleme- Zum Vorhaben, die Rallye zu beenden, more >>
Uncompromising three-way battle Volkswagen drivers in Sweden
– Volkswagen drivers Mikkelsen and Ogier within touching distance of victory in Sweden    Mikkelsen-Ogier-Neuville show at the second round of the WRC    Second and third: Volkswagen on course for two more >>
M-Sport adopt risk-free strategy in today Swedish stages
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2014M-Sport World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans showed real maturity as Rally Sweden embarked on the penultimate day of competition today. Making the most of the tricky conditions, the pairing head into to more >>
Thierry Neuville takes Sweden Rally lead
WRC Rallyes - Sweden Rally 2015Daylong leader Mikkelsen held second in a Volkswagen Polo R and team-mate Ogier was just 8.1sec further back in third.“That was one of the best stages I’ve ever dri more >>
Sweden Rally final stage day 3 standings - Thierry Neuville leads
WRC Rallyes  Sweden Rally 201518 Vargåsen 2 (24.63 km)1.     7     BEL  T. NEUVILLE     M     2:29:54.5    more >>
SS17 Overall standings top 25 in Sweden
WRC Rallyes  Sweden Rally 2015S17 Hagfors Sprint 2 (1.87 km)1.     9     NOR  A. MIKKELSEN     2:16:22.8         2.    more >>
SS15 Overall standings in Sweden -Neuville win stage, Mikkelsen keep lead
WRC Rallyes  Sweden Rally 2015SS15 Fredriksberg 2 (18.15 km) overall classification top 301.     9     NOR  A. MIKKELSEN     2:02:39.6        more >>
M-Sport drivers quotes Saturday Midday from Sweden Rally
RALLY SWEDEN, SECTION FIVEOtt Tänak (5th) said: “It’s not been so easy with the conditions – it’s really snowy and there isn’t a lot of grip. I think we had a good rhythm and we’ve been really clean more >>
SS14 Overall standings in Sweden - Mikkelsen keep leading
WRC Rallyes  Sweden Rally 2015SS14 Vargåsen 1 (24.63 km)1.     9     NOR  A. MIKKELSEN     1:52:08.3         2.     1 & more >>
Sweden Rally Saturday morning top drivers review
WRC Rallyes  Sweden Rally 2015Mads Østberg’s 20.8sec lead was slashed to just 1.7sec as Ogier continued his recovery from his own off-the-road incident yesterday afternoon.“I touched the bank a little with the more >>
Mads Ostberg on course for podium spot in Sweden for Citroen
RALLY SWEDEN (12-15/02/2015) – DAY 1•    Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson ended day one of Rally Sweden third position and right in the mix for overall victory!•    With the Citroë more >>
Norway’s day – Mikkelsen/Fløene lead the Rally Sweden with Volkswagen
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)  RALLY SWEDEN- Successful foray into Norway: Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene out in front- Set-backs whilst leading: drama for Ogier and Latvala- Perfect rally conditions in Norway an more >>


2001-2023 full copyright