Drivers upbeat about weather

Former world rally champions Marcus Gronholm and Petter Solberg have claimed that the lack of snow affecting this weekend's Swedish Rally will not cause too many major dramas - although organisers have vowed to keep a close eye on stage conditions

Drivers upbeat about weather

Although snow fell overnight, and more is predicted before Friday's first stage, the unusual warm temperatures, which are nudging six degrees centigrade in Karlstad, are still causing some concern for teams and drivers.

Rally organisers have been attempting to water the stages, so that overnight freezing temperatures will leave an icy covering on the gravel surfaces, but even that may not be enough to prevent the surfaces being ripped up and rutted by studded tyres.

It is understood that inspections of Friday's re-run stages at Likenas, Hara and Torntorp will be made after the cars have run through them for the first time, to make sure that the road surface is as safe as possible.

Gronholm admitted that conditions in the morning's shakedown were not as bad as people had been predicting. He said: "They have forecast some more snow through the night, so it could be okay. The roads aren't so bad.

"When we got to shakedown in Hagfors this morning I saw the snow and thought: 'Okay, maybe this won't be bad.' The road today wasn't so bad - a little bit with the ruts, but quite okay. For the rest of the rally it would be nice if the snow came and we had some more minus degrees."

Solberg added: "The roads are the way they are. We were lucky to get some snow this morning, but we don't know what the stages are going to be like. The recce went okay. I'm sure it will be good fun. You know, the thing is that it's the same for everybody. We're just going to have to make the best out of the circumstances which are here."

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