Rnd 1 of the 2011 WRC
Official Website: rallysweden
The waiting is over. Four months since Sebastien Loeb marked the end of the old World Rally Car era with victory on Wales Rally GB, the World Rally Championship is back with new technical regulations, new cars, new teams and a host of exciting new driver line-ups.
It all starts in the city of Karlstad, which once again has the honour of hosting the only true winter rally on the WRC calendar from 10-13 February. And, for the second year running, Sweden forms the opening round of what is set to be another thrilling WRC season.
Karlstad marks the point where Sweden’s longest river, Klaralven, runs into the country’s largest lake, Vanern. It is also said to be Sweden’s sunniest city. But while Karlstad will host the ceremonial start and finish plus two superspecial stages at the city’s trotting track, the battle for glory will be fought out in the snow-coated forests of Varmland and Dalarna to the north, with the central service located at Hagfors Airport, some 85 kilometres from Karlstad.
Sweden’s WRC counter requires a special blend of speed and precision as drivers thread their cars between snow banks and trees. All cars are equipped with special studded tyres that tear through the surface snow to bite into the thick layer of ice beneath to provide grip.
Despite the fact the stage surface is too slippery to walk on, the cars can achieve speeds of up to 200kph, making it a must-see event for all rally fans. However, with ambient temperatures hovering around minus 20 degrees centigrade for much of the rally, it takes a special breed of spectator to brave the extreme conditions.
read more: wrc.com/news=14074