February 19, 2013

2013 WRC Rally Sweden Review

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia drive through forest in 2013 Rally Sweden February 2013.
Photo © DPPI - From Bilsport.se .

The second rally of the 2013 World Rally Championship season was Rally Sweden. Official host city of Karlstad, Sweden served as the start and finish point of the ice and snow covered gravel event, which was done February 7 through February 10. The service park was in Hagfors, and the course ran through that region on Friday. They headed East on Saturday, with much of Sunday spent over the border in Norway.

The weather was perfect for what you would hope for in a Swedish rally. Plenty of fresh snow fell just before the start of the event, leaving everything snow covered and beautiful. Even with studded tires, giving the cars 384 studs per corner, there was a good bit of sliding around. This only seems to encourage the competitors to drive more aggressively, spending a lot of time driving sideways through the winding forest roads.

Quite a few cars ended up sliding, and in a few instances, rolling off the road. When you go off, you hope to land in a soft snow bank, rather than one of the harder ones. If your car is still driveable, any spectators nearby are glad to help get the car turned right-side up.

No matter what the weather, this is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world. Lots of fans who make their way to see the Norway stages like to hangout around the house of rally driver Petter Solberg (2003 Champion), as one stage takes the cars on a road right next to it. Many car jump fans also make their way to the area by Colin's Crest (Named in honor of Colin McRae).

The top three drivers to complete the rally were: Winning driver was Sébastien Ogier (France) from Volkswagen Motorsport; Sébastien Loeb (France) of Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team came in second place; Finishing with third best time was Mads Østberg (Norway) for Qatar M-Sport WRT.

Links (in chronological order) to WRC.com 2013 Rally Sweden recap posts, as well as highlights videos, are to be found below.

WRC wrap: Ogier triumphs on snow
Posted at WRC.com on February 10, 2013

Sebastien Ogier has claimed the first World Championship rally victory for Volkswagen Motorsport following a faultless performance on Rally Sweden, which ended in Karlstad this afternoon...

Capito: “Ogier in a class of his own”
Posted at WRC.com on February 11, 2013

Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito has paid tribute to Sebastien Ogier for taking his squad's maiden victory in the World Rally Championship on only its second event...

Neuville the high-flyer at Colin's Crest
Posted at WRC.com on February 12, 2013

Thierry Neuville won this year's Colin's Crest Award for recording the longest jump over the famous blind crest on Rally Sweden...

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