This year’s Rally Sweden (13/02/–16/02/2020) provides the most challenging road conditions since decades. Due to unseasonal warm weather and a lack of snow in the Värmland region of Sweden and across the border in Norway, the itinerary of the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship had to be shortened. The stages are providing a mix of gravel, ice and a thin layer of snow. After the Friday leg, Finnish Škoda privateers Emil Lindholm/Mikael Korhonen lead the WRC3 category and are the quickest among the teams in Rally2 cars. Oliver Solberg (SWE) and co-driver Aaron Johnston (IRL), debuting at Rally Sweden in a Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo which is run in a cooperation between Solberg’s own team and Škoda Motorsport, are showing a good performance.
This time, no snow banks line the tracks, which normally allow the drivers a special cornering style, leaning the car on them in order to achieve higher speeds. Instead of that a mix of ice with a thin layer of snow, interrupted by gravel passages, on which the racing tyres easily lose their studs – the road conditions of Rally Sweden 2020 are the most challenging since years. “I don’t want to go faster, in some places, there is really no grip at all. I simply want to stay on the road,” described 18 years old Oliver Solberg, who kicked off his WRC3 program in cooperation with Škoda Motorsport. Nevertheless, he and co-driver Aaron Johnston (IRL) brought their Škoda FABIA Rally2 evo to Friday’s finish in fourth position of the WRC3 category.
The Finnish Škoda privateers Emil Lindholm/Mikael Korhonen delivered a stunning performance and lead the WRC 3 category, which is dedicated to private crews. On top of that, after the Friday leg of Rally Sweden they are quickest among the 17 entries strong field of Rally2 cars. Škoda’s 2017 WRC2 Champion Pontus Tidemand (SWE) and co-driver Patrick Barth (SWE) have privately entered a Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo of Toksport WRT Team and are third in the WRC2 category.
On Saturday, Rally Sweden will feature the repetition of the Friday stages, two passes over the Likenas stage will complete the event on Sunday. The second run through Likenas will form the live TV Wolf Power Stage, before the winning crew will be celebrated at the service park in Torsby.
Standings Rally Sweden after Day 2 (WRC2 and WRC3)
1. Lindholm/Korhonen (FIN/FIN), Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, 32:29.4 min.*
2. Østberg/Eriksen (NOR/NOR), Citroën C3 Rally2, +4.7 sec.
3. Huttunen/Lukka (FIN/FIN), Hyundai i20 Rally2 ,+7.7 sec.*
4. Veiby/Andersson (NOR/SWE), Hyundai i20 Rally2, +13.1 sec.
5. Tidemand/Barth (SWE/SWE), Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, +23.0 sec.
6. Kristoffersson/Skjærmoen (SWE/NOR), Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, +28.6 sec.*
7. Solberg/Johnston (SWE/IRL), Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, +34.4 sec.*
8. Pietarinen/Anttila (FIN/FIN), Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, +38.1 sec.*
*Crews eligible to score points in the WRC3 category
Number of the day: 9
Among the 17 entries strong field of the Rally2 cars, ŠKODA is with 9 FABIA the most popular brand.
Pres release Skoda Motorsport