WRC Rally Sweden could be cancelled due to warm weather

A decision on whether to cancel this week's Rally Sweden is likely to be made on Monday

WRC Rally Sweden could be cancelled due to warm weather

The second round of the 2016 World Rally Championship has been hit by warmer than expected temperatures, melting away snow and ice on the roads around Karlstad.

Ironically, a freeze is forecast for the middle of the coming week, prompting consideration of a Saturday-Sunday only rally with the recce moving from Tuesday-Wednesday to Thursday-Friday.

One official within the organisers admitted that at the moment all possible options are under consideration.

The organisers are keen to delay a decision as long as possible in the hope the weather changes, but Autosport understands the stakeholders are pushing for a quicker resolution, with a decision hoped for Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Rally Sweden CEO Glen Olsson said: "It's frightening how quickly the weather and the forecasts can change.

"We had a good layer of ice on our roads and promising forecasts this Friday.

"Now the situation is significantly changed."

The concern is that running the recce, which requires studded tyres, on Tuesday could seriously damage what are now soft gravel roads ahead of the rally itself.

Route manager Johan Magnusson said: "There is below zero temperatures and even snow in the forecasts for the rally weekend, but the big question is if the roads will re-freeze, because we need frozen roads to be able to hold the event.

"The forecast is for above zero degrees for the reconnaissance, which is planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, and the roads risk being destroyed then."

The organisers are in constant contact with the FIA and WRC Promoter and will take a decision jointly with them.

While the rally has been close to being cancelled in recent years for weather reasons, only in 1990 has it previously been called off.

It is six degrees and raining heavily in and around Karlstad on Sunday night.

The European Rally Championship has already had to postpone its planned season-opener, Rally Liepaja in Latvia, due to a lack of snow on the stages.

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