Opening day route of Rally Sweden unchanged despite road concerns

The route for Friday's opening day of Rally Sweden will not change, despite concerns for the state of the road in the initial stage

Opening day route of Rally Sweden unchanged despite road concerns

The rally organisers, FIA, WRC Promoter and manufacturers all met again on Thursday evening to discuss Friday's action, with agreement reached to run all stages planned in the revised itinerary, but with two additional tyres.

The opening superspecial stage in Karlstad was cancelled earlier in the week, but the ceremonial start went ahead as planned and Friday morning's Torsby stage also remains.

The concern at running the 10-mile Torsby has centred on the impact on the tyres ahead of two longer, full-ice stages that follow across the border in Norway.

The ice cover on Torsby is limited, with the drivers expecting to emerge from the stage with studs missing from their tyres.

With that in mind, the organisers have sanctioned another change to the itinerary and are now building in a remote tyre zone before the Rojden stage, SS3.

The crews will be permitted the two extra tyres at that zone. Using the two spares they will carry in the car, they can then proceed into Norway with four perfect tyres, providing none have punctured.

World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier admitted this year's Rally Sweden would present a new challenge.

"It's going to be different to before," he told Autosport.

"The stages in Norway are no problem. We have some ice in there and these stages look good. Some of the others look a little bit difficult.

"For sure, we have some stages which are 100 per cent gravel - these can't run."

The organisers have already cancelled eight of the 21 stages.

"It will be tricky," Ogier added. "With no snowbanks it can be quite difficult, but I'm not afraid of this challenge."

No decisions regarding the itinerary for Saturday and Sunday were taken during the meeting.

A source within the event told Autosport: "We're watching the weather, like we have been for the last month!

"We expect the weather to go cold, a lot colder. Minus 10 degrees tonight [Thursday] and minus all day Friday and Friday night would make the stages a lot more workable."

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FIA insists Rally Sweden is on despite Ogier's cancellation call

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