2022-02-23 12:46Pressmeddelande

True winter challenge coming up in Rally Sweden

The Power Stage, SS Sarsjöliden, welcomes the Rally Sweden. FOTO: ERIK ÅSTRÖMThe Power Stage, SS Sarsjöliden, welcomes the Rally Sweden. FOTO: ERIK ÅSTRÖM

The only winter rally of the WRC is coming up. And there's no lack of snow in the Umeå region. 50-70 centimeters of snow at the special stages guarantee a true winter challenge. 

Last week the snow fell in southern Västerbotten. Fifteen centimeters in Umeå, and some places, like Långed SS10/14, had double, creating a fantastic scenery for the upcoming Rally Sweden. 

"We've cut down the plow walls to a suitable height. After the snowfall, the road was like a bobsleigh course where you only saw the roof of the cars, but now we are ready to go", says Paul Strandgren from the local organizer Umeå AK. 

Weather forecast predicts more snow

The official partners and main contractor Kaj Johanssons Åkeri och Torbjörn Sundh Entreprenad have prepared and plowed some of the roads in Rally Sweden. But there are also a lot of non-profit committed persons who have contributed to the preparation. 

The weather forecast predicts a snowfall on the night before Thursday, and the organizers are ready to pull out. 

"After that, we hope for sunshine. There is no magic behind preparing the roads; the important thing is to start plowing early and that the roads are plowed and open all winter. We have watered a few places too, to tie together the substrate", Johan Magnusson, Route Manager, says.

At the power stage in Sarsjöliden, SS17/19, the local organizer (where Roland Johansson is responsible for the plowing) has worked around 100 hours preparing the road and creating public spaces along the stage. 

"We have arranged the Swedish championships before, and the roads' preparation is similar now, with a little bit more accurate scraping and plowing. The big difference for us now is parking spaces and spectator areas", Erik Åström, chairman of the local club Vännäs MK says.

Using the snow to create stands for the audience

The art of plowing also applies to the parking spaces and spectator areas. Magnus Säfström is Chief Spectator Officer, and he says that the local experience has been beneficial when the Rally Sweden has moved from Värmland to the Umeå region. 

"A lot of people have helped us with their knowledge on how to make special parking spots for snowmobiles. They are also used to handling and using the snow to create good spectator areas. The big snow stand at the Red Barn Arena is "the next level," but the same principle is used on other special stages, though minor," Magnus Säfström says. 

Transports 500 000 cubic meters of snow annualy to snow dumps

The inhabitants and municipalities in the Umeå region are used to preparing and plowing winter roads. The Umeå municipality has 60 million Swedish kronor in an annual budget for snow removal. They have 50 tractors and snowplows running every winter for the cause. Every year Umeå municipality transports around 500 000 cubic meters of snow to particular snow dumps. 

But the amount of snow differs from winter to winter. Last winter was the snowiest winter since 1987. This year has been optimal with an even snow flow, giving the Umeå municipality perfect conditions to keep the streets and cycle lanes free from snow. 

"The most significant part of the snow removal is keeping the cycle lanes free from snow. We want to encourage people to bike the whole year, it's good both for the environment and public health. Cycling is also an excellent way to get to The Red Barn Arena, Service Park, and city center during the Rally Sweden", says Per Hilmersson, head of operation streets in Umeå municipality.

Om Rally Sweden

Rally Sweden är en av 13 deltävlingar i WRC, världsmästerskapen i rally, och det enda utpräglade vinterrallyt. Det är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang med över 100 000 åskådare under fyra dagar och närmare 120 miljoner tv-tittare runt hela världen! Tävlingarna avgörs för första gången i år i Umeå i Västerbotten. Tävlingen har körts sedan 1950 och varit vinterrally sedan 1965. Rally Sweden är känt som en vinterfestival, där publiken kommer förare, bilar och tävlingarna riktigt nära – Closer to Rally.


VD Svenska Rallyt AB
Anna Nordkvist
Communication Rally Sweden
Niklas Westman