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15-18 februari 2024

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24-02-19 Reiersen stars on home WRC2 debut in Umea with JC Raceteknik
Rising Swedish rally star Isak Reiersen delivered the performance of a driver with far more experience in his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship at Umea in Sweden (15-18 February), to finish an emphatic eighth in WRC2 and 13th overall.

Driving his new-for-2024 JC Raceteknik-run Skoda Fabia Rally2, 20-year-old Reiersen took on some of the very best rally drivers in the world in the WRC’s leading support class, WRC2 for his home event.

And, competing in some of the most difficult conditions to greet crews in the historic winter round of the WRC for as long as many could remember, Reiersen and co-driver Lucas Karlsson delivered an impeccable performance.

Fourth fastest WRC2 driver through the event-opening shakedown stage, and 13th overall, Reiersen went eighth quickest on the first proper stage, on Thursday evening in the dark, before repeating the performance with eighth again on SS2 on Friday morning.

Seventh in SS3 laid out his stall for the rest of the event, and having climbed the leaderboard from the starting position of #32, on SS5 and SS6 Reiersen was 13th overall, including the headline Rally1 crews.

The weekend wasn’t without drama as the crew battled a wide range of day and night, snow and ice conditions, along with a snowstorm during the event, a pair of overshoots at super-slipper junctions and losing time while having to overtake a car on stage, but overcoming the obstacles in their way, Reiersen and Karlsson made it to the finish eighth in WRC2 and 13th overall – a fine debut achievement.

Using experience gained at one of the world’s toughest events, Reiersen and Karlsson will now switch their attention back to the domestic action in the coming months.

Joel Christoffersson, JC Raceteknik Team Principal:
“I am very proud of Iask, and he should be proud of himself. To go into a class as strong as WRC2, in a round of the World Championship and perform like he did shows where he is at, but he also exceeded expectations for many people looking from the outside I am sure. The pace is one thing, but to have driven with such a mature head in conditions that were so, so challenging, and caused some of the very best rally drivers on the planet to make big mistakes, is very satisfying for the whole team. We came into this weekend with no real pressure, but the result of such a performance is very encouraging for the future. Never being outside of the top 20 overall positions the whole rally, and finishing inside the top 15 – that is something to remember.”

Isak Reiersen (SWE):
“It has been a wild ride, that’s for sure, but we made it through the rally. It has been long days and a lot of experience gained, everything from managing tyres to driving in full snow blizzard where you can’t even have the headlights on because of the snow and only being able to see about 60 meters in front of the car. The kilometers we have driven over the weekend has been the same as three Swedish Championship rounds, which would be half of the SM season. And the result – we are happy. P8 in WRC2 is strong. Almost nobody crashed out which shows how high the level of drivers is in the class, and we lost only one second per kilometer to Oliver [Solberg, class winner], which we expected with his experience at this level, and we have a lot of data to analyse for the future. This is a memory that I will have with me for the rest of my life. I want to thank everyone involved for making this possible – this weekend has been really, really good for the future. The team was brilliant throughout the week, and Lucas did a great job sitting beside me too.”
24-02-18 Oliver Solberg försvarade segern på hemmaplan
För andra året i rad vann Oliver Solberg under söndagen den svenska VM-tävlingen i rally i Rally2-klassen.

22-åringen var i en klass för sig hela tävlingen på sin hemmabana i Sverige. 1.19,7 minuter var Oliver Solberg snabbare än tvåan Sami Pajari från Finland efter 300 kilometers grym körning.

Solberg vann 11 av tävlingens 18 specialsträckor i Rally2-klassen – inklusive den sista. Därmed leder nu Oliver Solberg VM totalt i klassen.
– Att få försvara segern från förra året ger en väldigt speciell känsla. Det var extra speciellt eftersom vi också tog flest sträcksegrar av alla i tävlingen. Ett fantastiskt jobb av min kartläsare och resten av teamet, sa Oliver Solberg.

Duon Solberg och kartläsaren Elliott Edmondson slutade på en stark femteplats totalt i tävlingen – inklusive Rally1-klassen. Finnen Esapekka Lappi var snabbast genom det svenska vinterlandskapet och slog tvåan Elfvyn Evans med 29,6 sekunder.

Det var den fjärde segern i karriären i Rally2-klassen för sonen till förre världsmästaren i rally, Petter Solberg. Förra årets seger i Sverige var den första. 22-åringen vann sedan i Finland och Chile förra säsongen. 2020 vann Solberg även en VM-tävling i sportens tredje nivå i Estland.

Nästa VM-tävling äger rum i Kenya sista helgen i mars.

24-02-18 Lappi’s long wait is over with Sweden victory
Lappi breaks record for longest gap between WRC victories, Adrien Fourmaux claims maiden podium

Esapekka Lappi is a winner again in the FIA World Rally Championship on the back of a controlled but fine fast-paced display of ice and snow driving aboard his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid.

His Rally Sweden victory, alongside co-driver and fellow Finn Janne Ferm, came six years, six months and 19 days since he won in the WRC for the first time on Rally Finland in 2017.

The 33-year-old breaks the record for the longest gap between WRC wins, which stood at five years and 359 days and was jointly held by Shekhar Mehta and Jean-Luc Therier.

Lappi is the fifth Hyundai-powered driver to win a WRC round, a result that gives the manufacturer its 29th triumph in the world championship on an event when Toyota and M-Sport Ford also finished on the podium.

“It feels really good,” Lappi said. “I’ve been hunting for this second victory for quite a while. I would like to say a million things but probably I’ll forget many of them. But many thanks to Cyril [Abiteboul, Hyundai Motorsport president and team principal], he kept me in the team after a very bad second half last year. It’s quite a massive contrast from that moment until now. So thanks to the team. And my family as well.”

Lappi started Rally Sweden’s deciding leg of three stages this morning (Sunday) leading by 1min 06.3sec and with 18 WRC points banked for topping the order at the end of Saturday’s running. While his rivals deployed full-attack mode, Lappi kept a cool, calm head to reach the finish unscathed and with his lead intact.

Although it meant his winning margin was trimmed to 29.6sec, victory was all that mattered for Lappi, who is embarking on a partial campaign for the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team in 2024.

Behind Lappi, Toyota’s Elfyn Evans snatched second from Adrien Fourmaux when the Frenchman lost time striking a snowbank on Sunday’s first test. But the M-Sport Ford Puma driver didn’t let that moment knock him off his stride as he raced to his maiden WRC podium in third.

“It’s really, really good for us to be on the podium, after coming back to Rally1,” said Fourmaux. “It’s been two really hard years but we never gave up and to be on the podium in Sweden is really special. Honestly, I have no words, it's just so nice.”

Despite sliding his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid into a snowbank at high speed on SS17, Evans topped the Super Sunday classification to bag seven world championship points to add to the 13 he scored on Saturday under new rules for 2024. The Welshman, who also took four points on the Wolf Power Stage for an event total of 24, is now three points adrift of Thierry Neuville in the race to win the 2024 WRC title.

But he could have been two points behind Neuville had he not slid into another snowbank nearing the finish of the Wolf Power Stage, a moment that denied him the fastest time – and five bonus points – by 0.039sec.

“We lost it all in the last couple of corners – not so good,” Evans said. “Anyway, overall I guess we can be relatively happy with this result after what happened on Friday, but there are still areas to work on.”

Neuville, the winner of Rallye Monte-Carlo last month, fought back from fuel pressure issues and a few set-up gripes to finish fourth, but with the rear of his Hyundai sporting significant cosmetic damage following a heavy Wolf Power Stage landing. While the Belgian’s title lead has been cut from six to three points, his efforts helped Hyundai draw level with Toyota at the top of the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers after two rounds.

Oliver Solberg won WRC2 in Sweden for the second year running in fifth followed by category rivals Sami Pajari, Georg Linnamäe, Roope Korhonen and Mikko Heikkilä. Italy’s Lorenzo Bertelli, making his second WRC start in as many years in a Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1, rounded out the top 10.

World champion Kalle Rovanperä claimed five points by setting the pace through the rally-deciding Wolf Power

Stage following his Saturday morning restart. Ott Tänak, who also crashed out on Friday, scored six points via the Super Sunday classification and his Wolf Power Stage result.

Early rally leader Takamoto Katsuta’s bid to salvage championship points following his off on Saturday’s first stage suffered a setback when he spun at high-speed nearing the finish of SS17. The Japanese Toyota driver came away with three points.

Rally1 rookie Grégoire Munster achieved his goal of reaching the finish in the second M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Puma following myriad mishaps during what was a learning-first mission by the Luxembourg youngster.

The World Rally Championship heads to Africa next for Safari Rally Kenya, round three of the season, from 27 - 31 March.

The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com

24-02-18 Mille Johansson tog sensationell VM-seger i Rally Sweden
18-årige Mille Johansson från Katrineholm gjorde i helgen debut i Rally-VM när han körde hemmatävlingen Rally Sweden i Umeå. Efter en succéartad insats från Mille och kartläsaren Johan Grönvall från Arvika vann dom Junior-VM med nästan en minuts marginal.

Mille och Johan startade helgen starkt genom att vara absolut snabbast på träningen inför tävlingen. Själva rallyt fick en tuffare start när dom snurrade två gånger på tre sträckor och tappade mycket tid. Men från fredagsförmiddagen var dom snabbast på nästan alla sträckor och vann tävlingen.
– Det känns helt overkligt. Jag trodde aldrig att detta skulle vara möjligt. Hela helgen har vart fantastisk. Vi har gjort två misstag, men kört ikapp den förlorade tiden. Allt känns fantastiskt just nu, säger Mille Johansson efter målgång.

Mille, som fyller 19 år senare i år, har gjort en målmedveten satsning mot Rally-VM under en längre tid. Starten i Junior-VM var menad för att få erfarenhet inför framtiden och visa upp sig på hemmaplan. Men i det största startfältet i Junior WRC i modern tid, 19 startande, så imponerade Mille och Johan och vann tävlingen där alla juniorer kör i identiska fyrhjulsdrivna Ford Fiesta Rally3.
– Det var riktigt jobbigt inför sista sträckan. Jag kände så många känslor. Men nu är vi segrare, hjärtat bara pumpar, säger Mille.

Resultat: https://www.ewrc-results.com/results/84371-rally-sweden-2024/?s=442731&sct=10&utm_campaign=cmp_3132685&utm_source=getanewsletter&utm_medium=email#google_vignette
24-02-17 Lappi on cusp of Swedish victory
Esapekka Lappi builds commanding Saturday lead as closest challenger Takamoto Katsuta crashes out

Esapekka Lappi lapped up the praise and bagged the points with a clean run through Rally Sweden’s second leg today (Saturday) as he closes in on his first FIA World Rally Championship victory in six years.

By completing leg two in front, the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid driver has provisionally scored 18 WRC points, which will be added to his season tally providing he reaches the rally finish on Sunday afternoon under new rules for 2024.

Starting Saturday’s action leading the ice and snow event by 3.2sec following Friday’s drama-packed first leg, Lappi came under early pressure when Takamoto Katsuta slashed his advantage to 0.9sec with a determined charge through the day-opening 15.65km of Vännäs.

But Lappi was left in the clear when Katsuta plunged his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid into a snowbank 3.4km from the start of SS10 while pressing his Finnish rival for top spot.

Despite his comfortable margin, which stood at 1min 31.6sec after SS10, Lappi admitted that finding the balance between attacking and holding his lead was far from easy. Like his fellow drivers, Lappi also had to make preserving his tyre studs on increasingly damaged roads a key focus. But the one-time WRC event winner completed Saturday’s running without incident and will take a lead of 1min 06.3sec into Sunday’s deciding three-stage leg.

“It’s not been too bad,” Lappi said of his Saturday efforts. “I’ve been trying to save the tyres the whole afternoon and still be smart in terms of the pace. It is [hard to measure the pace], I’m not so used to it so it’s not the easiest job in the world. But it’s all under control.”

While Lappi heads into Sunday with his sights fixed on victory, Katsuta will be hoping to avoid leaving Sweden empty handed. As well as restoring his pride, the Japanese driver’s target on Sunday are the seven points up for grabs for topping leg three’s classification, plus the five points on offer for the Wolf Power Stage fastest time.

Of his Saturday morning exit, a dejected Katsuta said: “We did an okay time on the first one to gain the time and a much closer gap between me and EP [Lappi]. I wanted to continue pushing, maybe even more to gain more time but obviously I was trying very hard, and [in] one corner I carried a bit too much speed and snapped the rear and hit the snowbank. We were stuck and couldn’t get out.”

On a day that produced five stage winners from the seven scheduled stages and also marked M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson’s 68th birthday, the team’s Adrien Fourmaux has excelled aboard his Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid.

After demoting WRC2 leader Oliver Solberg in the battle for third on SS9, Fourmaux moved into second when Katsuta stopped on the next stage. The Frenchman further underlined his potential by landing his fourth WRC career stage win on SS11 to cement second place in the overall order, which he maintained through the afternoon to land 15 interim points. That was despite a scare in the closing kilometres of SS15 when he charged a snowbank after being distracted by his team-mate Grégoire Munster’s stricken Puma.

“I’ve seen the video [of Munster] and I thought it was the corner before,” Fourmaux said. “When I realised they were there it was too late. What a good day, a rollercoaster, up and down, but I’m happy, P2.”

Having been hampered by opening the road for much of Friday afternoon, Elfyn Evans missed out on winning SS9 by 0.3sec before his third-fastest time on SS10 elevated him onto the final step of the provisional podium, 11.4sec behind Fourmaux. But after the Toyota driver “scooped a snowbank on the inside of a corner” and “lost loads of power” as a result, he headed back to midday service 16.2sec behind the flying Frenchman. With one eye on tyre stud retention through stages 12-15, the Welshman is 16.7sec down on Fourmaux in third.

Completing Friday’s running in 11th overall due to fuel pressure problems costing him 40 seconds in penalties, Thierry Neuville overtook Solberg for fourth on SS12 before setting the fastest time on SS13 during an afternoon spent perfecting the set-up of his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. He was fastest on the day’s final three stages.

Behind fifth-placed WRC2 leader Oliver Solberg, Sami Pajari took second in WRC2 and sixth overall when Georg Linnamäe spun his Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 nearing the finish of SS11. The Estonian slipped to fourth in class following his moment but demoted WRC3 champion Roope Korhonen on SS14 before closing to within 0.2sec of Pajari on SS15. Mikko Heikkilä, who recovered from a spin on SS15, and Lauri Joona complete the top 10.

Hyundai’s Ott Tänak and Toyota’s world champion Kalle Rovanperä restarted on Saturday morning after they crashed on Friday. Tänak won SS9 from first on the road, 1.2sec faster than Rovanperä. The Finn set the pace on SS10, going 2.8sec quicker than Tänak, who complained of a lack of visibility in a forest section. The duo found the road surface on the repeated stages a particular handful during the afternoon loop, with Rovanperä reporting a brake issue at the completion of SS14.

Sunday’s deciding leg begins with back-to-back visits to the significantly altered Västervik test ahead of the Wolf Power Stage – the same layout as the Umeå stage from Saturday evening – from 12:15 local time.

A separate classification for the Sunday stages awards points to the top seven (7-6-5-4-3-2-1). The fastest five drivers on the Wolf Power Stage also score points (5-4-3-2-1).

Leading positions after Saturday:
1. E Lappi / J Ferm FIN Hyundai i20 N 2h 03m 52s
2. A Fourmaux / A Coria FRA Ford Puma +1m 06.3s
3. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +1m 23.0s
4. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 N +2m 22.1s
5. O Solberg / E Edmonson SWE / GBR Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 +4m 01.1s
6. S Pajari / E Mälkönen FIN Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 +5m 15.1s

The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com

24-02-16 Lappi leads Sweden WRC thriller on Friday night
Finn Lappi takes control in heavy snow as local hero Oliver Solberg stuns Rally1 stars

Esapekka Lappi made it through an action-packed and challenge-filled opening leg of Rally Sweden leading round two of the FIA World Rally Championship by a slender 3.2sec.

Lappi, on his first 2024 start aboard the third factory Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, hit back from an off-form run through SS1 on Thursday evening to complete Friday morning’s loop of three stages trailing Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid-driving Takamoto Katsuta by 11.4sec.

But he wasted no time in his bid to catch his Japanese rival during the afternoon by taking 6.1sec out of Katsuta’s lead on SS5 – the rerun of #42 Brattby – to close the gap to first place to 5.3sec.

With the snowfall intensifying, Lappi outpaced Katsuta again on SS6, this time by 5.0sec, and snatched the rally lead following his table-topping run through SS7.

“For sure we need to take the confidence from today and start to concentrate for the rest of the rally,” Lappi said after winning SS8. “I used the road position advantage clearly in the afternoon. Okay, for sure in the morning as well, but I was not too slow against Kalle [Rovanperä] in the beginning so I’m fairly satisfied with that.”

Behind the charging Katsuta, Adrien Fourmaux was on course to complete leg one on the provisional podium for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team on the back of a fine drive. But the Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid-driving Frenchman was powerless to prevent WRC2 leader Oliver Solberg moving ahead in the afternoon snow, despite the power deficit the Swede faced in his Rally2-specification Škoda Fabia.

“Third place in a Rally2 [car] is incredible and in my home rally it’s a bit of a dream and I’m very happy,” Solberg said of his stunning performance, which was witnessed by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Värmland and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

While the heavy snow created a picture-perfect winter wonderland, it made the task for the drivers – particularly those running at the head of the pack – even harder.

Thierry Neuville, the world championship leader after winning the Rallye Monte-Carlo season opener last month, was 40.5sec off the pace in fifth position, two places behind Elfyn Evans, following the morning loop, having struggled for grip opening the road and for visibility in the early morning fog.

Normally a fuel pressure issue would be the stuff of nightmares for a rally driver, but after completing the snow-heavy SS5 1min 15.5sec behind leader Katsuta, the fault the Hyundai driver reported prior to SS6 provided much needed, albeit unusual, salvation for the Belgian, as he started the stage out of order behind Evans.

Although Neuville was a mere 3.7sec quicker than Evans on SS6, he was more than 20sec faster than the Toyota driver on SS7 after Evans charged a snowbank and was further delayed by a misting windscreen.

“I guess the spirit of competition has gone out of the window,” Evans said. “The difference between being first and second on-the-road is huge. I'm not really sure what’s been going on this afternoon. I can't even see from here to the sign in front of me, and we're going so fast. It's a bit bonkers, but we're [still] here.”

“The engine was not running so we had to check it,” Neuville said of his scare prior to SS6. “Elfyn was at the refuel earlier when our car didn't fire up, so he should know.

“In the stage it’s not a problem. I could have gone a little bit faster at the end [of SS7], but it's very easy to go off.”

Neuville’s earlier delay, which incurred a 40-second penalty, means he’s outside the top 10 after eight stages with Evans fifth behind Fourmaux.

Georg Linnamäe, who sensationally claimed his maiden outright WRC stage win on SS5, is sixth in Toyota’s new-for-2024 GR Yaris Rally2. Linnamäe’s WRC2 rivals Sami Pajari, Roope Korhonen, Mikko Heikkilä, and Lauri Joona complete the top 10.

Rovanperä rapid but out of luck on return
After topping the order by 1.4sec through the Umeå Sprint super special stage on Thursday, returning world champion Kalle Rovanperä capitalised on more favourable stage conditions running seventh on the road on Friday morning.

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT’s flying Finn was able to extend his lead by winning Friday’s first test, #42 Brattby, renamed in memory of Craig Breen, who was fastest on both runs of the 10.76km stage aboard his number 42 Hyundai in 2023.

Beating Lappi by 3.2sec, Rovanperä’s advantage over Takamoto Katsuta stood at 4.9sec after SS2 as a result.

Although Rovanperä lost out to his compatriot Lappi on SS3 following what he described as a “horrible, embarrassing” drive, the double WRC title winner was a mere 1.2sec slower than Lappi, which allowed him to extend his margin over Katsuta to 5.7sec.

But with Rovanperä forced to limp through SS4 with damage to the rear of his Yaris following an off, Katsuta took the stage win – 0.7sec quicker than Evans – to lead Lappi by 11.4sec at the completion of a dramatic morning loop in the Swedish ice and snow.

Ott Tänak was third when he spun and damaged the front-end of his Hyundai hitting a snowbank 18.5km into SS4.

Gre´goire Munster continued his Rally1 initiation with his learning-first approach driving a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid. However, the Luxembourg driver dropped four minutes with tyre damage on SS4 and reported the day had been “crazy” at the finish of SS8.

The double-use Vännäs, Sarsjöliden and Bygdsiljum stages form Saturday’s route, which concludes with the first try of the Umeå test, the venue for Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage. SS9, Vännäs, is due to get under way at 07:45 local time.

The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
24-02-15 Svenska Rallyt – så här sänder SVT
17 februari:
08.30 – 11.15, SVT Play: Svenska Rallyt
08.30 – 09.30, SVT2/Play: Svenska Rallyt, ss 10
14.10 – 16.15, SVT Play: Svenska Rallyt
15.00 – 16.00, SVT2/Play: Svenska Rallyt, ss 13
18.50 – 20.00, SVT Play: Svenska Rallyt

18 februari:
10.00 – 13.45, SVT Play: Svenska Rallyt
12.00 – 13.30, SVT2/Play: Svenska Rallyt, ss 18 (powerstage)

Kommentatorer: Johan Ejeborg/Maria Wallberg
Expert: Per-Gunnar Andersson

Allt om rally-VM i SVT Play hittar du här >>>

TV4-gruppen äger rättigheterna till rally-VM och alla tävlingar kan streamas live på TV4 Play

24-02-14 Winter challenge awaits WRC leader Neuville at Rally Sweden
Optimal conditions set the stage for thrilling high-speed snow and ice showdown.

Thierry Neuville is bracing himself for the ultimate winter challenge as he starts Rally Sweden (15 – 18 February), round two of the season, as the FIA World Rally Championship leader.

Neuville soared to the top spot at Rallye Monte-Carlo last month. However, the Belgian's dominance at the season-opener may prove a double-edged sword this week. Nestled in the north of the country and based out of Umeå, conditions are near-perfect for an exhilarating winter rally, though not necessarily ideal for Neuville.

Snowfall leading up to the event means that starting first in the running order during Friday's opening leg could force Neuville’s Hyundai i20 N Rally1 to act as a snowplough, clearing the lines and enhancing grip for the following drivers.

“We are expecting a lot of snow and very cold temperatures in Sweden,” Neuville explained, “This was something that was manageable last year, but has been a bit more difficult previously. Because of this, we will need a lot of precision and reactivity from the car to be able to throw it from one corner to the other and maximise effectiveness.”

Ironically, roads deemed difficult to even stand on will set the stage for one of the fastest rounds of the season. Competitors rely on tungsten-tipped steel-studded Pirelli tyres to bite into the ice, providing crucial grip. Additionally, they ‘lean’ on the snowbanks lining the stages for added stability through corners.

Ott Tänak, last year's victor with M-Sport Ford, enjoys a more favourable starting position of fourth. He, along with Finnish driver Esapekka Lappi, rounds out a three-strong line-up of freshly liveried Hyundai Motorsport cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing is aiming to improve its winter rally performance after struggling to match Hyundai and M-Sport Ford in Umeå last season. Elfyn Evans leads a trio of GR Yaris Rally1 cars into the event, accompanied by Takamoto Katsuta and Finnish prodigy Kalle Rovanperä, who returns to action for the first time this year after clinching back-to-back titles in 2022 and 2023.

Adrien Fourmaux and Grégoire Munster headline M-Sport Ford's Puma Rally1 entries for the 300-kilometre fixture, which kicks off on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday. Special stages three and six have been renamed #42 Brattby in memory of the late Craig Breen, who set the fastest times on both runs aboard his #42 Hyundai i20 N in 2023.

Rally Sweden also hosts the opening round of the FIA Junior WRC, for which a record-breaking 19 crews have registered in identical Ford Fiesta Rally3 cars provided by M-Sport Poland.

The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com

24-02-13 Mille Johansson redo för VM-debut på hemmaplan i Rally Sweden
Till helgen gör rallyföraren Mille Johansson från Katrineholm debut i Rally-VM när han kör hemmatävlingen Rally Sweden i Umeå. Tillsammans med kartläsaren Johan Grönvall från Arvika kör dom i Junior-VM.

Rally Sweden blir den första VM-tävlingen för 18-årige Mille Johansson, som förra året körde Junior-EM. Tävlingen blir också första gången för Mille i en fyrhjulsdriven bil, då alla deltagare i Junior WRC tävlar i identiska Ford Fiesta Rally3 från M-Sport Poland. Ett rekordstort startfält på 19 bilar väntar i helgens Rally Sweden.
– Det ska bli kul att starta säsongen med min VM-debut, och på hemmaplan. Just vinterförhållanden är det jag gillar mest, och känner att jag kan prestera bäst på. Vi har gjort vårat första test med Rally3-bilen i Norge, vilket kändes bra och vi har en bra känsla inför Rally Sweden. Det är mig det hänger på, och att få till noterna under reken. Lyckas vi med det känns det som att vi har bra chanser till en bra placering, säger Mille.

Inför Rally Sweden har Mille och Johan kört mycket test i en likvärdig fyrhjulsdriven bil för att komma så väl förberedda som möjligt.

Rally Sweden är den första av totalt fem deltävlingar i årets Junior-VM, JWRC. Mille och Johan möter hårt motstånd i klassen från bland annat Rumänen Norbert Maior, som vann Junior-EM ifjol.
– Detta ska bli riktigt kul. VM har alltid vart en dröm, och nu är det äntligen dags. Känslan är riktigt bra och jag har lagt ner otroligt mycket förberedelser, så nu ska vi göra allt för att visa att vi har farten i bilen. Målet är att ta oss igenom alla sträckor med bra känsla och fart och att få mycket erfarenhet inför framtiden, säger Johan.

Rally Sweden, som är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang, lockar tiotusentals tillresta besökare och över 100 miljoner tv-tittare över hela världen. Med Umeå som bas startar tävlingen på torsdagskvällen med en spektakulär sträcka på i20-området i centrala Umeå med närmare 40 000 personer i publiken. Tävlingen avgörs över 18 sträckor med målgång på söndag.

Rallyt sänds i såväl SVT som TV4 och i rallyradion på www.svenskbilsporttv.se

Startlista: https://www.ewrc-results.com/entries/84371-rally-sweden-2024/?sct=10&utm_campaign=cmp_3130511&utm_source=getanewsletter&utm_medium=email
Resultat: https://www.ewrc-results.com/results/84371-rally-sweden-2024/?s=442731&sct=10&utm_campaign=cmp_3130511&utm_source=getanewsletter&utm_medium=emailRally Sweden: https://rallysweden.com/
24-01-19 Ott Tänak and Kalle Rovanperä compete in Rally Sweden 2024
Registration for Rally Sweden 2024 is now closed. Fifty-six crews from 27 countries will attend the FIA World Rally Championship in Umeå February 15-18. The last two years' winners, Kalle Rovanperä and Ott Tänak, will start in the competition, along with the Swedish poster Oliver Solberg.

When the second part of the Rally Sweden WRC season, it will - just like the two previous years in Umeå - be a winter rally called duga. The snow landscape already frames Västerbotten and the upcoming rally stages in an almost fairytale-like way.
Fortunately, Rally Sweden offers a new participant record since the competition relocated to Umeå. The premiere attracted 45 teams in the first year. Last year, 52 teams signed up, and this year, the number of teams/drivers is up to 56 crews spread over 27 countries, including exciting nations such as Oman, Kazakhstan, and Chile, who will experience the atmosphere in Umeå for the first time.
- It is, of course, gratifying that we have attracted so many drivers to this year's competition, and it is, of course, extra gratifying that we have never had so many drivers enter the junior WC class; as many as 19 crews will start, says race director Stig-Rune Kjernsli and adds ;
- We are also delighted that we have attracted many new drivers who are now making their debut in Umeå. Then I think it's a shame that we didn't manage to get any Norwegians here, states the Norwegian competition leader.
Instead, he can rejoice in a new participation record and the amount of snow and variation in the weather, which created good sporting conditions at the time of writing.
- The snow has helped us frame the competition as the winter rally it is meant to be. The mild weather after Christmas created an ice surface to make the stages a good rally base.

Notable for the 2024 competition is that in the starting field this year, we will also find no less than three Swedes, where poster name and factory driver Oliver Solberg with his map reader Elliott Edmondson are accompanied by Isak Reiersen/Lucas Karlsson in the WRC 2 class. The WRC 3 and junior -The WC will allow the audience to get to know Mille Johansson/Johan Grönvall.
- It's fun that we get more Swedish drivers to the start, and even though I might have hoped for a few more seen for all the semi-professional teams that exist in Sweden, it's still a step forward compared to the previous Rally Sweden competitions in Umeå, notes Kjernsli.

In the WRC 1 class, many world stars will start. The Toyota team is fielding three drivers for the Umeå race, and the Japanese car manufacturer has had two completely different experiences of Rally Sweden. In the opening year, there were two out of three podium places.
Last year, they finished fourth and fifth and had to see Takamoto Katsuta make a serious roll because he was forced to break the competition.
In the premier year, Kalle Rovanperä won in Umeå, and the Finn - who won the entire WC series in both 2022 and 2023 - is, even though he only announced a half-time commitment this year, of course, one of the favorites. Elfyn Evans finished fourth last year and has not maintained complete driving focus during his Rally Sweden participation.

The Hyundai team with last year's winner Ott Tänak, contracted from M-sport Ford with his faithful map reader Martin Järveoja, will also start. Whether the new environment will make him repeat the victory from 2023 remains to be seen. Hyundai's other rally duo, Thierry Neuville and the always super sharp Finn Esa-Pekka Lappi, will - if they manage to steer their cars on the right side of the margins on the winter roads - threatened for the victory which will be distributed over the 18 special stages. The Belgian Thierry Neuville, WC third in the overall series in 2023, has been on the podium both times in Umeå. Lappi finished second while driving for Toyota in 2022 and was heavily in the race for victory for just over two-thirds of the race last year before going off the road in the penultimate stage on Saturday.

M-sport Ford celebrated with its poster name Ott Tänak at the top of the podium at The Red Barn Arena last year. For Rally Sweden, team manager Richard Millener has promoted WRC 2 driver Grégoire Munster from Luxembourg in the heaviest driver class, and the Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux also gets the chance again in the team. He was in 2022 but was forced to retire due to mechanical failure.

In the WRC 2 class, it will undeniably be tight for victory. At least 20 crews will start, and last year's winner, Oliver Solberg, now driving for Skoda's factory team, is the big favorite on home soil. The class offers many new teams making their debut in the competition. Among other things, Toyota offers two Japanese-Finnish debutant teams in the form of Yuki Yamamoto/Marko Salminen and Hikaru Kogure/Topi Luhtinen.
24-01-15 Mille Johansson gör VM-debut i Rally Sweden
18-årige Rallyföraren Mille Johansson från Katrineholm kommer göra sin debut i Rally-VM när han den 15-18 februari kör Junior-VM i den svenska deltävlingen Rally Sweden i Umeå. Tillsammans med kartläsaren Johan Grönvall från Arvika kommer Mille göra sin entré på den högsta internationella nivån.
– Det är helt klart en barndomsdröm som går i uppfyllelse. Från att ha vart och kollat på rallyt sen man var liten och drömt om det, till att det nu blir verklighet är helt otroligt. Det ska bli riktigt fränt och kul att göra detta, säger Mille Johansson.
– Det ska bli riktigt kul. Rally Sweden är en tävling jag alltid har velat åka. Jag har också stått vid sidan av vägen som åskådare flertalet gånger när det gick i Värmland, och tänkt tanken att en dag ska jag stå där på startlinjen. Så nu när det väl händer så är jag laddad till max, fortsätter Johan Grönvall.

Mille och Johan körde under fjolåret Junior-EM i en tvåhjulsdriven bil. När de nu tar klivet upp i VM-serien blir det också debut i en fyrhjulsdriven bil, en Ford Fiesta Rally3. För att förbereda sig inför Umeå-tävlingen väntar ett gediget testprogram i en fyrhjuldriven Ford Fiesta R5, som anpassats för att efterlikna Rally3-bilen.
– Vi förbereder oss med flera tester i en fyrhjulsdriven bil för att få in så mycket mil som möjligt innan Rally Sweden, eftersom det blir en helt ny bil för mig. Att gå från en tvåhjulsdriven bil till en fyrhjulsdriven är ett stort steg, och det kräver att jag känner mig trygg för att kunna prestera på topp, säger Mille.

Starten i Rally Sweden är den enda planerade JVM-starten för Mille och Johan, som nu får möjlighet att visa upp sig för storpubliken på hemmaplan och en första smak av Rally-VM.
–Vi är med för att se vart vi står någonstans fartmässigt. Men vi är ödmjuka, eftersom det blir första VM-tävling och första gången i fyrhjulsdrivet, avslutar Mille.

Junior-VM, Junior WRC, är en enhetsserie där alla tävlande kör identiska Ford Fiesta Rally3 som drivs av M-Sport Polen, Fords Fabriksteam. Vinnaren av Junior-VM belönas med en start i efterföljande års WRC2-mästerskap, näst högsta klassen i VM.

Rally Sweden, i folkmun känt som Svenska Rallyt, är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang med över 100 000 åskådare under fyra dagar, och närmare 120 miljoner tv-tittare runt hela världen.

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