WRC continues at Rally Sweden
Following a top-three finish at the opening round of the new WRC season, we journey north for round two of the championship next week.
“Heading now to Sweden, our goal is to show improvement and enable our three crews to compete for the podium places,” said Cyril, our Team Principal.
Snow problem for our team
As the only true winter event on the 2023 WRC schedule, Rally Sweden offers a unique test for both man and machine. Despite the terrain, the profile of the stages makes the event one of the fastest rounds on the calendar. The studded winter tyres provide remarkably high levels of grip in the icy conditions, while large snowbanks can be utilised by the drivers to assist cornering.
“I believe that we will be getting proper winter conditions this year, allowing us to have lots of fun between the snowbanks,” said Esapekka. “The surface of the stages is very similar to the Finnish roads, so Rally Sweden has always felt like a second home event for me.”
Ice cool crews
At the 2022 edition of the Nordic event, Thierry and Martijn secured second place to bring home the debut podium finish for our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. The Belgians will be hoping to deliver another positive result after securing third overall in Rallye Monte-Carlo.
“We showed that we can be competitive on snow and ice last year, so it is our hope that we can be quick again in Sweden this time around,” commented Thierry. “However, to achieve this, consistency across the weekend will be vital.”
Following a learning experience in Monte, Esapekka and Janne will be back behind the wheel of our hybrid challenger in Umeå. Like Thierry and Martijn, our Finns know what is required to stand on the podium in Sweden. The returning Craig and his new co-driver James complete our crew line-up. The Irishmen will be aiming to get plenty of kilometres under their belt as they compete in our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid for the first time.
“In an ideal world, I would love to leave Sweden having stood on the podium again,” said Craig. “But as it is our first outing in the car, the main goal is to just enjoy the experience and learn as much as we can.”
“All of our drivers have had success in Sweden before,” commented Cyril. “Hopefully then can bring home a strong haul of points for the championship.”
Winter start in WRC2
Rally Sweden will mark the first outing of the year for our entries in the WRC2 category, with Teemu/Mikko and Fabrizio/Marcelo back at the helm of our i20 N Rally2.
“As it is our first time on snow in this car, testing will be very important for us,” said Teemu. “I hope my previous experience in wintry conditions will help me find a good feeling in the i20 N Rally2.”
“I am very excited to be driving in snow again,” added Fabrizio. “Our aim for the weekend is to improve stage by stage and above all gain more confidence on this surface.”
Rally Sweden will take place on February 9-12.