Rally Sweden for dummies | Pirelli

Rally Sweden for dummies

Rally Sweden is the World Rally Championship's winter spectacular: the only round to take place entirely on snow and ice. The slippery surface is hard to walk on without falling over, but special studded tyres provide drivers with remarkable levels of grip and help make this one of the fastest rallies of the season. Large banks of snow line the sides of the road, and drivers will try to ‘lean' their cars against these to carry more speed through the corners.

In warmer temperatures, however, these snow banks can disintegrate on impact, swallowing cars whole and requiring crews to reach for the shovels they carry especially for this event.

The rally has been a fixture on the WRC calendar since the series began in 1973, and in 2022 it moved away from its traditional home in the Varmland region of Sweden further north to a new base in Umea. The city is 600 kilometres north of Sweden's capital Stockholm and only 400 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, and so provides a greater guarantee of the extreme winter conditions that make this rally world famous. The roads in the local forests are faster, too: the 2022 event featured the second-highest average speeds of the season, bettered only by neighbouring Finland's summer gravel rally.