Rally Sweden goes historic

Rally Sweden will spice up the event with a historic class in 2013. Next to the supercars of today the spectators will be taken for a trip back in time.

– This is a way to give all who follow Rally Sweden a little something extra and right now where working hard to get both interesting drivers and cars to come here, says CEO Glenn Olsson.

The history of Rally Sweden is long, and since the premiere in 1950 – then called The Swedish Rally to the Midninght Sun – the top drivers and cars of every generation have competed in Sweden.

Now it’s time for a sweet reunion. The decision to include a historic class should be seen as an homage to all those who through the years have contributed to make the Swedish WRC event to one of the true classics.

The initiative from Rally Sweden is welcomed in the community of historic rallying.

– The interest for this is enormous, especially here in Sweden but also abroad, says Per Carlsson, manager for Midnattssolsrallyt, who has been contracted by Rally Sweden to be the contact person for the historic event.

The historic rally running alongside the WRC event will consist of several classes.

• Class 1: Cars up to 1969.

• Class 2: Cars from 1970 until 1975.

• Class 3: Cars from 1976 until 1981.

• Class 4: Cars from 1982 until 1985.

– We will also invite an exhibition class for cars made until 1990, says Carlsson who believes that the entries, limited to 35, will hold makes and models such as Ford Escort, Porsche 911, Saab two-stroke, Volvo 240 Turbo, Audi Quattro and Minis.

Rally Sweden runs February 7-10. The historic class will compete for three days. Thursday February 7 is the start with an exhibition at the Super Special Stage in Karlstad in connection to the official start of the WRC event.

On Friday, the historic cars will run Vargåsen 1, the stage with the world-famous crest named after Colin McRae. They will then return to Karlstad and run the Super Special Stage.

On Saturday the WRC cars run four stages twice (Sågen, Fredriksberg, Rämmen and Hagfors Sprint) . The historic cars start right after the WRC cars but will only run the stages once.

– The historic event ends with the very popular Hagfors Sprint in central Hagfors. It always draws a big crowd so the scene is set for a great finish to the event, says Clerk of the Course Bertil Klarin.

The total number of SS-kilometres for the historic class is 84.

Who are the drivers who will battle it out in in the first ever ”Historic Rally Sweden”?

– Year one it is most likely that the drivers will be predominantly Swedes, but hopefully we will have some foreign teams starting, says Per Carlsson and referes mainly to drivers from neighbouring Norway and Finland.

Among the Swedish drivers there are many favourites. It would be great to see World Champions and multiple Swedish Champions Björn Waldegård and Stig Blomqvist. Local Per Eklund is of course also high on the wish-list, as well as drivers like Åke ”Bryggarn” Andersson, Kalle Grundel, Kenneth Eriksson, Mats Jonsson, Kenneth Bäcklund, Stig-Olof Walfridsson, Sören Nilsson etc etc.

Photo: Jerker Johansson