Snow concerns for Sweden

The organisers of this weekend's Swedish Rally are hoping that predictions for snow this afternoon are spot on with the event facing potential trouble because of the recent rise in temperatures and dry weather that have left many of the stages free of ice and snow

Snow concerns for Sweden

Although speculation of the event's possible cancellation because of the strange weather conditions have been strongly denied, the organisers are already making contingency plans to cope with the situation.

It is understood that the start of the first stage on Friday will be moved further down the planned route to ensure it starts on snow and ice - although it not clear yet what other changes will need to be made if fresh snow falls do not take place.

Former Swedish winner Harri Rovanpera has told Autosport that he is concerned about the possibility of taking part in the event without snow and ice - and believes it may be better for the event to be cancelled.

"The tyres will be finished within 10 kilometres (six miles) in these conditions," he said. "It is not safe because we will lose all of the studs from the tyres and then find a place where there is still some ice.

"I have never driven in these conditions before, and I'm really not looking forward to it. It must be called off. I am looking out of the hotel window and all I can see is green grass - it is more like the summer here."

Despite the concerns, Swedish organisers are adamant that the event will go ahead and have been quick to point out that although snow may not be lining the stages at the moment, there is a layer of ice on the ground.

The Swedish Rally's general manager Bertil Klarin said: "We are expecting temperatures below freezing this week. If we get those, then the roads should be okay. We are also expecting some snow on Thursday in the forests, which will fall as rain in Karlstad. The forecast has been reliable, but only as far as Friday. After that, we don't know."

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