World Champion Sébastien Ogier vowed on Friday to rise to the challenge of Rally Sweden this week despite a lack of snow and ice that threatened the running of the event.
Ogier on Thursday blasted Rally of Sweden organizers as “idiots” after the race had eight stages cut because of lack of snow and rising temperatures.
Although several stages have been axed from the schedule, the rally will go ahead and Ogier promised to adapt to the mix of ice and gravel roads.
“I think we’re all excited at least for the first day. Those stages look really good and it will be possible to have good fun and make a good start to the rally. The rest of the event looks a little bit difficult but we have to accept these conditions and make the best out of it,” said Ogier. “This year’s stages are more tricky without the snow banks, but I’m not afraid of the challenge. I like this.”
After completing a delayed pre-event recce this afternoon, Ogier sympathized with the organizers’ position.
“We’re all a bit sorry and disappointed about the conditions but what can you do? The weather is like it is and you can’t control it. Some stages are still OK and there are two that are very nice with a lot of ice which will be fun to drive,” he added.
During the recce, Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia focused on modifying their pace notes to suit the unexpected conditions.
“We have in mind the fact that we will lose a lot of studs and for sure we don’t want to face the situation of driving without studs on ice,” Ogier explained. “That might happen during the weekend so during the recce it was important to take that in the notes. Saving studs will be key.”