Ready to build on our strongest season start
After an exciting start to the 2019 World Rally Championship in Monte-Carlo, we are looking to feature at the forefront of the season’s only full snow event, Rally Sweden.
Thierry and Nicolas battled for victory right up to the Power Stage in the opening round with Andreas/Anders and Sébastien/Daniel also showing podium pace. The strength in depth of our i20 Coupe WRC crews allowed us to take an early lead in the manufacturers’ championship. It’s now down to us to cement that position, even at this early point of the year.
“Sweden has been good to us in the past, including our victory and double podium last year,” said our Team Director Andrea. “We have all the ingredients to win and while we do not underestimate our rivals, who are very strong, we want to let our ambition dictate our performance.”
Ice, ice baby
Our Belgians Thierry and Nicolas will start second on the road behind championship leader Sébastien Ogier, as they look to emulate last year’s triumph.
“Monte-Carlo was a good sign of potential for us and we can’t wait to get in the car again,” said Thierry. “Our car has always worked well in Sweden, allowing us to set fast times on the frozen roads and use the snow banks to push to the limit.”
For Andreas and Anders, familiar routes over the border into Norway will make them feel right at home. Andreas described it as “a highlight in our calendar.” He added: “Driving with studded tyres on the stages gives you an incredible feeling, like you are floating. We were disappointed to retire from Monte but we had found a good rhythm with the car.”
Sébastien and Daniel enjoyed a competitive start to their new career with our team, scoring multiple stage wins. “It is a very different challenge,” said Sébastien. “It can be the most exciting rally of the season if it’s full ice with good conditions and sun, yet it can be very difficult if the snow is melting with rain – so naturally, we’re hoping to have good conditions.”
All three crews prepared for the event with a test in Sweden. The sub-zero temperatures and fresh snow provided invaluable experience as they prepare for the fast-paced challenge of a rally that features the iconic Colin’s Crest jump. Action begins on Thursday, February 14 with a shakedown in Skalla before a Super Special Stage held at the Karlstad trotting track.