Andreas Mikkelsen og Torstein Eriksen er klare for Rally Sverige, som for første gang skal kjøres i området rundt Umeå. Les mer i denne pressemeldingen på engelsk.
Mladá Boleslav, 22 February 2022 – On the back of a WRC2 category victory at the
season opening Rallye Monte–Carlo, ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo crew Andreas
Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen (NOR/NOR) heads to Rally Sweden (24 – 27 February) with the
goal of another top result. After nearly 50 years run in the Värmland region, the FIA World
Rally Championship’s traditional winter event moved its base some 800 kilometres north to
Andreas Mikkelsen feels well prepared for Rally Sweden, second round of the FIA World Rally
Championship (WRC). “Rallye Monte–Carlo was the first event together with my new co–driver
Torstein Eriksen – it worked perfectly straight away! I also know that our ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo,
prepared excellently as always by Team Toksport WRT, works well on the fast snow tracks in
Sweden. As the special stages around Umeå are new to the championship, the conditions will be
the same for everyone. For sure it will be an exciting battle,” the reigning WRC2 champion from
Norway looks ahead.
Mikkelsen’s teammates at ŠKODA Motorsport–backed team Toksport WRT, Nikolay Gryazin and
co–driver Konstantin Aleksandrov from Russia, finished the season opener in Monte–Carlo third
overall in WRC2 and second in WRC Junior category. Although having competed at the WRC’s
only proper snow rally just once in the past, Gryazin is among the favourites for the category
victory. “I’m looking forward to my debut with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo in Sweden. I really
hope, that with the expected lower temperatures, we will once again have snow walls along the
tracks. They are very good to lean the rally car on to achieve higher cornering speeds,” Gryazin
reveals some insights into driving techniques at winter rallies.
Also driving a Toksport WRT entered ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, Marco Bulacia/Marcelo Der
Ohannesian (BOL/ARG) are completely new to Rally Sweden. “At Rallye Monte–Carlo, we
experienced some bad luck and could not score any points. I definitely want to score valuable
points for the WRC2 overall and Junior classification, even when most of the competitors have
more experience on snow and ice,” Bulacia summarizes his goal for the second WRC round.
In contrast to the young South Americans, reigning Finnish Rally Champions Emil Lindholm/Reeta
Hämäläinen (ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo) have plenty of experience on fast and snow covered forest
roads. In preparation for their first WRC2 start of the season, they won the Arctic Lapland Rally in similar winterly conditions. The talented mixed crew from Finland will be one to beat on the way to
victory in WRC2 category at Rally Sweden.
Technically, Toksport WRT runs two independent teams. Mikkelsen and Bulacia are entered under
Toksport WRT, Gryazin and Lindholm are officially listed under Toksport WRT 2. Both teams fight
for championship points on their own – after all also against each other.
The rally version of the ŠKODA FABIA is very popular in Scandinavia, as the entry list for Rally
Sweden shows: In the 30 entries strong field of Rally2 vehicles – including 24 WRC2 competitors –,
a total of eleven crews compete with the successful rally car from Mladá Boleslav. Amongst them
are also Mauro Miele/Luca Beltrame from Italy, who lead the WRC2 Masters classification. Bruno
Bulacia (BOL), younger brother of Toksport WRT driver Marco Bulacia, celebrates his WRC2 debut
next to experienced Spanish co–driver Marc Martí at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo.
In order to guarantee the best winterly conditions, which often have been missed in recent years,
Rally Sweden has moved its base from Karlstad in the southernly province of Värmland, where the
event was based since the WRC’s inaugural season 1973. New rally town is Umeå some
800 kilometres further north at the shores of the Baltic Sea.
The second round of the 2022 WRC season kicks off on Thursday evening (24 February) with a
start ceremony in the city centre of Umeå. On Friday (25 February), the teams will tackle seven
special stages. On Saturday (26 February), another eight special stages will follow before the final
four special stages close the event on Sunday (27 February)