The temperatures are set to be sub-zero but the action will be red-hot when the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Sweden for the second instalment of the WRC’s new and exciting hybrid-powered Rally1 era next week.
From February 24-27, the university city of Umeå – and the surrounding forests of the Västerbotten region – will be home to Rally Sweden, a founding round of the WRC in 1973, but a notable absentee in 2021 as the COVID-19 restrictions forced its cancellation.
The event’s eagerly anticipated comeback marks unchartered territory for the WRC and its drivers and teams following the rally’s move away from its traditional Värmland hub to an alternative winter wonderland in the northeast of Sweden where 17 ice- and snow-coated stages await.
Craig Breen, said:
“I’m really excited to discover a new rally in Umea. I’ve done the rally many times before in Torsby, but it’ll be completely new this time, and I’m looking forward to having some great conditions. This is the first rally on loose surfaces with the new cars and the Puma hybrid, so hopefully it’ll be good.
“Obviously, we start near the front of the road on the first stage, so that will be something new for me to discover. Being second car on the road will be not the best conditions but honestly, it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. It comes with having a good championship position, so at the end of the day it’s good for that reason.
“I’m hoping for a good event, trying to build more confidence with the car like we did in Monte Carlo, and to see if we can get another strong result; the most important thing is to keep the championship position strong heading into Croatia, so let’s see how it goes.”
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