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WRC Round Two...... Sweden.


Well-Known Member
Well, here we go with Round Two..... Sweden.
Here is a run down.

In many countries snow would be the signal for everything to grind to a halt, but it's manna from heaven for the rally boys. Instead of slowing things down, snow makes this event even faster. Instead of ditches to trap the unwary, hard packed snowbanks build up, and that turns each stage into the rallying equivalent of the Cresta Run. Unless you burst through the bank itself (as happened to Richard Burns and Colin McRae last year), you can use the banks to keep you on the road, and at speeds of up to 200kph that's a big help.

On the face of it the Swedish Rally should be a fairly straightforward event, but the recent trends in global weather patterns have made this second only to Monte Carlo in the challenge for tyre companies. In between full snow the event has frequently been run on little more than frozen gravel and that has placed higher demands than usual on the crucial issue of tyre studs.

Pirelli rally manager Fiore Brivio explains: "If the event was simply full snow then it would be quite easy because there would be just one tyre choice to make. However, now we usually have to find the right tyre and stud option and that means we have five to six tyre combinations.

"If you have full and fresh snow then you can have the studs at their maximum protrusion for maximum grip," he explains. "However, if there is a lot of ice and gravel then this will simply break the studs or pull them out of the tyres and of course then you lose the performance. In those conditions we must use tyres with studs that are not protruding so much and where there is more stud held inside the tyre so that it doesn't come out.

"People talk about long and short studs but this is wrong. The length is always the same - it's the protrusion that changes, with more or less stud inside the tyre as a result."

Form guide
Sweden is a very fast and spectacular rally for both the drivers and the spectators. High speeds and poor grip is a perfect combination for mutual enjoyment, but if you try to walk on this surface you'll soon find yourself flat on your backside...

For the past two seasons, Peugeot has sprung a surprise win in Sweden. In 2000 it was Marcus Gronholm who won his first WRC event and began the charge that took him to that season's title. Last year it was Harri Rovanpera's turn and both drivers must fancy their chances this time out.

Those two aside, Tommi Makinen has bagged three wins in the past six events, with Kenneth Eriksson (then at Subaru) mixing it with the winners. Eriksson's Skoda shouldn't be discounted this weekend and certainly you'd be foolish to bet against Makinen adding a second 10-pointer to his 2002 tally if his Monte Carlo form was anything to go on.

Colin McRae, along with Burns, was the class act of last year's rally. Apart from that one moment of foolhardiness that cost them any chance of a win, both could easily have broken the one remaining stranglehold that the locals have on world rallying, for Sweden is the one event that has not been won from outside Scandinavia. Carlos Sainz has repeatedly been the closest to ending that drought so will the perennial bridesmaid finally get to walk down the aisle this time?

After its controversial tactics in Monte Carlo, Citroen can expect a hostile reception in Sweden for its first snow event. Sebastien Loeb could be right out of his depth this time, but the team will rely heavily on Thomas Radstrom's local knowledge. However, if the team hits trouble this weekend there won't be much sympathy from their rivals, especially anyone in the Subaru camp...

Sounds fun!

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member

Thursday, 31 January 2002

After one of the driest Rallye Monte Carlos in recent memory, the FIA World Rally Championship switches to snow for its second round, this weekend's Swedish Rally. Citroen's decision late last week not to pursue an appeal against Sebastien Loeb's time penalty in Monte Carlo handed that rally win (a record 24th at WRC level) to Tommi Mäkinen, who thus leads the drivers' standings as the crews head north to Sweden.
If history is any guide, Mäkinen must start as one of the favourites for the Swedish, purely on grounds of his nationality. Despite the World Rally Championship's international flavour, no non-Scandinavian has ever won this event, although Spain's Carlos Sainz has finished on the podium five times in seven starts. He and his Ford team-mate Colin McRae will probably take the fight to the locals, but Peugeot's two Finnish drivers, Marcus Grönholm and Harri Rovanperä, have maintained the Scandinavian lock-out over the last two years and the French marque will be keen to score a hat-trick in Sweden after a disappointing Rallye Monte Carlo. And there remains the 'wild card' of Citroen - after the Xsara's strong showing two weeks ago, local driver Thomas Radstrom is being widely tipped to set fast times on his home event.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member
Peugeot drivers Marcus Gronholm and Harri Rovanpera appear to have a solid grip on the Swedish Rally after today's (Friday's) opening leg. The Finnish duo have swapped the top slot throughout the day and head back to Karlstad tonight just 0.9 seconds apart.
Conditions were expected to be near perfect - a fresh layer of snow on top of hard, packed ice. However, a surprise snowfall before the first stage caught out several drivers who floundered on the wrong tyres and are now having to fight back from lowly places.
Running first on the road was no advantage for series leader Tommi Makinen and it seemed he would have the same problem on Saturday when the running order is reversed. However, the Finn stuffed his Subaru into a snow bank, damaged the cooling system, and was forced to retire soon afterwards.
The mid-afternoon action saw several drivers trying hard to throw away the event. Thomas Radstrom and Sebastien Loeb both contrived to take their Citroens 'off road' and it must have been especially galling for Radstrom, who then set fastest time on the next stage to show what he might have been capable of.
Saturday sees six stages on which to do battle, the first three having been used already today so road position might not be so crucial in the morning. The first is a repeat of today's SS3, the longest of the rally, and it is here where McRae will have to be at his spectacular best if he is to close the gap on the leaders and capitalise on his points finish in Monte Carlo.

Results after Friday, Feb. 1 (Leg #1)

1. M GRÖNHOLM 0:00:00.0

2. H ROVANPERÄ +0:00:00.9

3. C MCRAE +0:00:41.5

4. J PAASONEN +0:00:53.6

5. F LOIX +0:01:01.5

6. P SOLBERG +0:01:02.7

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member
<Rant begin> Hey, what's the deal with Ralph Shaheen doing the voice over for "Rally XS"? I don't want some American who didn't even know what Rallying was until he got a call from a producer to do a voice gig! Gimme Toby Moody or some other Brit, Irishman, German, Italian, Kenyan, Finn or anyone else who has first hand knowledge of Rally!

Hopefully, the normal staff will be on hand for the rest of the weekend.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.specialstage.com/forum/dcboard.cgi?az=read_count&om=1590&forum=DCForumID19>Here's some more on the subject.</A>

<Rant over.>


Well-Known Member
Sunday, 03 February 2002

Finnish driver Marcus Grönholm has scored a dominant win on the second round of this year's FIA World Rally Championship, the Swedish Rally. The 2000 world champion was rarely troubled after he built up a substantial lead yesterday, and he and navigator Timo Rautiainen were able to relax in today's closing few stages to move to the top of the championship standings. Their team-mates Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietilainen also consolidated their second position, allowing Peugeot to celebrate a maximum score in the Manufacturers' championship. Carlos Sainz held off Richard Burns in third though, preventing the French manufacturer from scoring a whitewash of the podium placings.
The Swedish roads continued to thaw in the unseasonably warm climate today, making conditions extremely difficult with patches of gravel poking through the softening ice. Organisers were forced to cancel the day's second stage due to poor road conditions, and many drivers were concerned about how effectively their tyres would retain their studs on the gravel sections. Other mechanical problems arose for some crews, including Hyundai drivers Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz. The German retired on a road section with transmission trouble, while Loix's brave drive with a broken left foot came to an end when his suspension failed in the day's second stage.

1 Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 07m 28.6
2 Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot +1m 24.5
3 Sainz (E) Ford +2m 25.8
4 Burns (GB) Peugeot +2m 33.9
5 A.McRae (GB) Mitsubishi +4m 14.7
6 C.McRae (GB) Ford +4m 15.0
7 Tuohino (FIN) Ford +4m 23.4
8 Kankkunen (FIN) Hyundai +4m 36.9
9 Lindholm (FIN) Peugeot +4m 56.6
10 Duval (B) Ford +6m 33.3

Gronholm (SS1,SS7, SS8, SS9, SS10, SS11)
Rovanpera (SS2, SS3)
C. McRae (SS5, SS6, SS15)
Radstrom (SS4)
Burns (SS12, SS14,SS16)
SS13 was cancelled due to poor road conditions

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers:
Gronholm (FIN) 12, Makinen (FIN) 10, Sainz (E) 8, Loeb (F) 6, Rovanpera (FIN) 6,
C.McRae (GB) 4, Burns (GB) 3, A.McRae (GB) 2, Solberg (N) 1.

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Peugeot 20, Ford 16, Subaru 12, Mitsubishi 3, Hyundai 1, Skoda 0.

There ya go.
Pic's & Vid's to come later.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member
Yeah Shaun, I watched the first 1st round and the announcer sucked, I need the Brit back....


Well-Known Member
<IMG SRC="http://www.worldrally-online.com/NR/rdonlyres/ec5exuljq4ts4dqsikgmbme6rypqx3nqtshqbtrtmnuhq34j4odyz2q23ey6py6nei46l3gjflrucf[/image]


<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member
Here are a few vid's.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.worldrally-online.com/en_GB/Gallery/Video/2002SEPCLeg1.htm>Video 1</A>

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.worldrally-online.com/en_GB/Gallery/Video/2002SEAMcRaeBC1.htm>Video 2</A>

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.worldrally-online.com/en_GB/Gallery/Video/2002SESolbergSpraysSnow1.htm>Video 3</A>

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://[email protected]>Sean R.</A>


Well-Known Member
Scott (among others) said: "Yeah Shaun, I watched the first 1st round and the announcer sucked, I need the Brit back....

{Rant mode on}
Some of the talk elsewhere is that bringing in the American to do the voice over will make the broadcast a little more "friendly" to American (nascar) audiances. I, for one, resent the dumbing-down of motorsport that nascar represents. Now, the speedchannel is trying to do the same to Rally. This, in an effort to bring in more fans. It's great to grow the sport, but at what cost? How can you make a sport which involves finesse, cunning, chivalry, strategy, CLASS and the highest level of car control appeal to the big belt buckle, Hank Jr. crowd?

Rally is not for hicks.

They won't get it.

{Rant mode off}

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by TimHayosh on 02/04/02 05:41 AM (server time).</FONT></P>


Well-Known Member
Just venting man. Still pissed about the whole "speedchannel" thing. I'll get over it.

One last jab, let's not forget why the OEM's and Craftsman Tools left SCORE....


Well-Known Member
Wow, that graphic says a lot. I'd love to see an off-road race in that form. Using check point times, it could be done.