PLUS: THIS WEEK­END’S WRC ROUND HIT BY WEATHER

Motor Sport News - - Front Page -

While Rally Swe­den’s long term World Rally Cham­pi­onship fu­ture is a hot topic in the ser­vice park this week, it’s the rather more pro­saic lack of cold weather which is catch­ing most peo­ple’s at­ten­tion.

The lack of snow­fall has left the WRC’S win­ter rally look­ing wa­ter­logged and de­cid­edly un-win­tery.

The or­gan­is­ers re­vealed a new itin­er­ary on Mon­day ( see left), but this is very much de­pen­dent on tem­per­a­tures div­ing below freez­ing point from the middle of the week on­wards. If that doesn’t hap­pen, the event will al­most cer­tainly be can­celled.

The recce has been moved and will now run Wed­nes­day-thurs­day rather than Tues­day-Wed­nes­day. Thurs­day’s Shake­down stage has been canned, along with the su­per­spe­cial in Karl­stad later that evening.

The po­ten­tial dam­age to the roads from more than 100 crews run­ning stud­ded tyres on wet gravel would force the or­gan­is­ers’ hand. The cost of re­pair­ing the pub­lic roads af­ter the rally would be enor­mous.

On top of that, there’s the safety im­pli­ca­tion for crews run­ning on tyres which would soon lose their studs and have zero grip when they do find oc­ca­sional patches of ice.

Rally boss Glen Ols­son told MN: “The weather all over Europe has not been nor­mal this year. Fur­ther south in Europe, it’s 17 de­grees and peo­ple are wear­ing their shorts. Here we haven’t had the kind of mi­nus de­grees we would have wanted. We had some more warm days last week and this does make it dif­fi­cult – it could make the roads quite soft on the se­cond pass.

“It’s a lot­tery. Last year we had good con­di­tions with the snow, but up north in Oster­sund the grass was green at the same time. Go­ing north doesn’t guar­an­tee the weather, but it will make the costs twice as high.”

De­spite some tricky con­di­tions in re­cent years, 1990 is the only year the Swedish Rally has ever been can­celled be­cause of the lack of snow.

The His­toric el­e­ment of the rally has also been can­celled be­cause of the weather.

Rally in weather doubt

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