Last weekend saw round two of the 2012 World Rally Championship take place in Sweden. The event was based around Karlstad in the centre of the country, on appropriately ice and snow-covered gravel stages – the correct and proper conditions for the classic Scandinavian rally. The route also took in stages in neighbouring Norway, much to the obvious pleasure of the locals who lined the stages despite temperatures dropping to minus 25 degrees at times!
The art of driving fast on Rally Sweden is to use the soft snow banks lining the stages to help guide the car round corners – however, the technique is not infallible, and even rally master Sebastian Loeb lost two precious minutes when his Citroen slid into a bank of snow and got stuck. Spectators helped drag the car out, but that mistake dropped him out of contention for the win. Loeb’s team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen, battled with Fiesta driver Jari-Matti Latvala for the whole weekend, but the Ford man held on to beat his Finnish compatriot by just over 16 seconds at the end of the final stage.
Enjoy a taste of the Rally Sweden in the video above, complete with studs, jumps, bumps and inappropriate headwear!
Final Top 5 Positions:
1: Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford Fiesta) 3h18m28.3s
2: Mikko Hirvonen (Citroen DS3) +16.6s
3: Mads Ostberg (Adapta Ford Fiesta) +38.8s
4: Petter Solberg (Ford Fiesta) +1m14.3s
5: Evgeny Novikov (M-Sport Ford Fiesta) +2m41.4s