Drivers Sébastien Ogier―a three-time previous winner in Sweden―Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä will aim to follow up their strong debuts in the Toyota Yaris WRC on Rallye Monte-Carlo, where Ogier and Evans both finished on the podium and Rovanperä was fifth on his first appearance at rallying’s top level.
Rally Sweden is the only FIA World Rally Championship event held fully on ice and snow, but metal studs inserted into the tyres provide significant grip and help to make it one the fastest rallies on the calendar. Drivers can ‘lean’ their cars on snow banks at the side of the road to carry more speed through corners.
This year’s rally will proceed with a modified route after unseasonal conditions in the lead-up. As usual, a super special stage in Karlstad kicks off the action on Thursday evening. Friday features the Hof-Finnskog and Finnskogen stages in neighbouring Norway, plus the new Nyckelvattnet test on the Swedish side of the border. There will also be a short sprint stage finishing on the entrance to the service park in Torsby. Friday’s route will be repeated on Saturday, before two runs over Likenäs stage on Sunday, the second pass being run as the Power Stage.
For the first time, there will be five Toyota Yaris WRC entries on the same event. Takamoto Katsuta will contest the second round of his eight-round campaign through the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program, while Jari-Matti Latvala will return in a privately-entered car with another of the team’s past drivers Juho Hänninen as his co-driver.