› Toksport WRT crew Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) aims to repeat last year’s WRC2 victory at the only full snow event of the FIA World Rally Championship
› Finns Lauri Joona/Janni Hussi (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) are also among the favourites for a top result
› Among the 20 crews fighting for WRC2 glory at Rally Sweden, nine rely on a Škoda Fabia

Mladá Boleslav, 13 February 2024 – After the mostly dry tarmac roads of Rallye Monte-Carlo, the winterly forest roads of Rally Sweden (15-18 February) are next. The second round of the FIA World Rally Championship season marks the start of the WRC2 campaign for Oliver Solberg (SWE) and co-driver Elliott Edmondson (GBR) of Škoda Motorsport supported team Toksport WRT. Their clear target is to repeat last year’s category victory.

Among the 20 cars from five manufacturers entered into the WRC2 category are nine Škoda Fabia. Heading this group are last year’s WRC2 winners Oliver Solberg from Sweden and co-driver Elliott Edmondson sharing a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 of Škoda Motorsport supported team Toksport WRT. “The competition will be even stronger than last year. But I have the right car to fight again for the victory on this phantastic snow tracks”, Solberg looks ahead.

Yohan Rossel and Mapo Motorsport’s Pepe López (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2), first and second in WRC2 at Rallye Monte-Carlo, decided to not include Rally Sweden into their WRC2 campaign, which by regulations is restricted to seven events out of the 13 rallies of the season.

In the past, the WRC2 winners at Rally Sweden mostly came from Northern Europe. This history puts local heroes Isak Reiersen/Lucas Karlsson, Finnish crew Lauri Joona/Janni Hussi and Gregor Jeets/Timo Taniel from Estonia – all with Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 – among the most promising candidates for a points scoring position.

But the unique conditions of the WRC’s only full snow event are not stopping Škoda crews from other parts of the world to enjoy the upcoming event, albeit not all of them are entered into WRC2. Fabrizio Zaldivar from Paraguay faces the challenge with Argentinean co-driver Marcelo Der Ohannesian. As well a regular at Rally Sweden, Rakan Al-Rashed from Saudi Arabia is supported by Portuguese navigator Hugo Magalhães. Drivers Alejandro Mauro and Ricardo Triviño both travel from Mexico to Sweden. All these competitors are relying on rally cars from Škoda.

Since 2022, Rally Sweden is based in Umeå at the shores of the Baltic Sea. The second round of the 2024 WRC season kicks off on Thursday evening (15 February) with a 5.16 kilometres show stage at the famous Red Barn Arena close to the city. On Friday (16 February), the teams will tackle another seven special stages. On Saturday (17 February), another seven special stages will follow before the final three special stages close the event on Sunday (18 February). In total, the 18 stages cover 301.76 kilometres.

Did you know, that…

...a forerunner to Rally Sweden was held for the first time in 1950, but in mid-summer? Originally, it carried the name “Rally to the Midnight Sun” and has only been moved to its now traditional winter date in 1965.

...the cars run on tyres, which in the WRC are exclusively used at Rally Sweden? The Pirelli tyres of the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 are equipped with 384 Tungsten made studs each. The figure is due to the regulations which state a maximum of 20 studs per square decimetre of the tyres’ surface. The length of the studs may not exceed 20mm for a weight of 4 grams. Their shape must be cylindrical and they must be inserted from the outside.

...during Rally Sweden in WRC’s inaugural season 1973, only winter tyres without studs were allowed? Swedish local hero and occasional Škoda factory driver Stig Blomqvist celebrated victory despite a loss of ten minutes early on due to a problem with the fuel pump?

…Pavel Sibera/Petr Gross won class A5 in 1993 with a Škoda Favorit 136L?

Top 3 WRC2/Drivers (after 1 of 13 rallies)
1 Yohan Rossel (FRA), Citroën, 25 points
2 Pepe López (ESP), Škoda, 18 points
3 Nikolay Gryazin (BGR), Citroën, 15 points

Top 3 WRC2 Challenger (after 1 of 13 rallies)
1 Pepe López (ESP), Škoda, 25 points
2 Nikolay Gryazin (BGR), Citroën, 18 points
3 Nicolas Ciamin (FRA), Hyundai, 15 points

Top 3 WRC Masters Cup (after 1 of 13 rallies)
1 Mauro Miele (ITA), Škoda, 25 points
2 Eamonn Boland (IRL), Ford, 18 points
3 Jourdan Serdiridis (GRC), VW, 15 points

2024 FIA World Rally Championship

Rallye Monte-Carlo  25-28 January
Rally Sweden 15-18 February
Safari Rally Kenya  28-31 March
Croatia Rally 18-21 April
Rally de Portugal 9-12 May
Rally Italia Sardegna 30 May-2 June
Rally Poland 27-30 June
Rally Latvia 18-21 July
Rally Finland 1-4 August
Acropolis Rally Greece 5-8 September
Rally Chile 26-29 September
Central European Rally (CZE/AUT/DEU) 31 October – 3 November
Rally Japan  21-24 November