It is that time of the year again, when every person in Sweden with even a hint of interest in motorsport only has one thing on their mind. I’m of course speaking of Rally Sweden.
This pair had been put under a fair bit of pressure both from Malcom Wilson (who expected a Top 5 finish) and also by a lot of people here in Sweden which expected him to deliver a top result, but to be fair I think he did great with the limited time he had in the car.
As I was taking pictures of Jari-Matti Latvala and Kalle Rovanperä I saw Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena rolling into Parc Ferme, and just like with Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen they ended their career before I got serious with a camera!
Come Friday morning and we had our plan set for Svullrya1, but so had other people, so by the time we got to the stage all the WRC cars and half of the WRC2P/WRC2 field had gone through the stage, so we turned around and walked back to the car and had a rethink, we ended up at Hof/Finnskog2 well in time for the WRC cars, but we quickly got bored at that place so we had another rethink and left..
Here is a man who had a lot of eyes on him before the event, last year he won the 2WD class in the Swedish Championship, and for this year he and his sponsors decided to change up a gear, so they got their hands on a Skoda Fabia R5, so they could compete in the 4WD class in the Swedish Championship as well as WRC rounds if they fancied!
How could I possibly do an article from Rally Sweden without mentioning the last WRC-champion not named Sebastien and not born in France? If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about Mr. Hollywood himself, Petter Solberg!
As I said in the beginning, this livery had me skeptical at first but once I saw it I knew it looked good, but when the drivers mother is none other than Prada herself I guess good looks are mandatory!
Many thought that Kris Meeke’s time in a WRC car of latest spec was over last year when Citroën got bored of building new cars all the time, I admit that I thought the same, but I also had that feeling that he wasn’t quite done yet.
Speaking of not being done yet, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, without doubt my favorite duo in WRC! Just their personal number for this year is worth a mentioning, they chose 19, because they have 1 JWRC/S1600 championship victory and yes you were right, 9 WRC championships!
From one Sebastien to the other, after two years at M-sport and in the Fiesta he decided to go “home” to France and Citroën, and to be honest I think this shows his great skill even more, because he is competitive in this too, just as he was when he first sat in the Fiesta two years ago!
During the Sunday morning I got the brilliant idea of running 2km just before the start of the stage, running 2km is not a huge problem in itself, in the summer, wearing proper clothes for it, but in the winter, dressed to be warm even if not moving for a while being outside and with a 10kg camera bag on the back, it gets quite tough rather quickly!
When I finally got to the corner I had made my mind on what I wanted to get out of the corner, sadly for me some people arrived after me and decided to put up speedlites and shot with a wide angle lens, all this would’ve been perfectly fine if they had wore say..black or grey jackets..They were bright blue!!
So I had to think of a plan B really quickly (since it was the last day so I was on a shortage of time), so I did the best thing I could think of, get the flashes out myself and try to do my best with it!
It got easy because I knew that almost no matter what I did I got an exciting (in my eyes) picture, it got hard because I knew they were driving so close to my “operating window” so I wasn’t always sure I got the whole car in frame!
After we had been out on the first stage of the day we headed towards Torsby and the service park, the very nice setting during Rally Sweden with the Power Stage running next to the service park makes it great, in the essence that you can have a walk around the service park first and then go watch the stage, or do what I did, go and have a look at the service park and then grab a front row place at the finish ramp! On my way there I noticed this pile of carbon fibre and carbon kevlar parts in the same spot as Marcus Grönholm had as his spot during the rally!
So much people in such a small area, most of them from different countries and with different favorite drivers, and not a single fist fight, is it WRC that has weird fans or is it every other sport that has?
After a while when Ott Tänak had crossed the finish line I almost thought all hell broke loose, because what I hadn’t noticed earlier was that many of the flags were either Estonian and/or Toyota Gazoo Racing flags, so it got pretty lively as Ott and Martin Järveoja rolled onto the stage!
This is my first try at writing a post like this, is it something you want to see more or shall I just do a simple gallery like before? Feel free to contact me with feedback and ideas!