RALLY SWEDEN, TYRE MANAGEMENT CRUCIAL
Only one type of tyre available to the teams: the studded Sottozero
The 2024 route features some changes compared to last year, with more technical and slower sections
Testoni: “Surface conditions could change from stage to stage. Adapting to this will be the key to success”
The 2024 edition of Rally Sweden is the second round of the WRC and the first for the Junior category. There are some changes in terms of the route and it also features a tribute to Craig Breen, who made his last appearance on a world championship rally here last year.
Some of the special stages have changed, with more corners and jumps, as well as sections going through more populated areas. The first of these is SS3/6 Norrby on Friday, which uses a completely new section from the 3.51 kilometre mark to the finish. On Saturday, SS9/12 Vännäs is totally revised, over 15 kilometres long, featuring jumps and fast sections mixed in with narrow and more technical ones. Only the second part of SS11/14 Bygdsiljum has changed, being more technical and slower. There are also modifications on Sunday, with a very different SS16/17 Västervik, now including two brand new sections. There are also very slight changes to the power-stage, with the start a few hundred metres back compared to last year.
As a tribute to Craig Breen SS2/5 now goes by the name of #42Brattby.
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: “The real unknown and the toughest challenge of Rally Sweden is down to the various road surface conditions that might be encountered. Last year, these matched what one expects from a winter rally, with packed snow and icy sections mixed in with others that featured gravel, less packed ice and deep ruts. These varied conditions need to be tackled carefully in different ways, especially when it comes to tyre management, bearing in mind that only studded tyres are available. Therefore, the only strategy choice is how many spares to carry on the rally. Our Sottozero has always been very reliable, with unrivalled stud strength and once again this year, it will play its part in delivering a fast and exciting rally. It will be interesting to see how Kalle Rovanpera performs on his season debut on a surface he likes, as well as how the many Nordic snow and ice specialists get on competing in Rally2.”
PIRELLI TYRES IN SWEDEN
The tyres available are:
Sottozero Ice J1B. In all classes of Rally Sweden, the regulations allow for just one type of tyre with one type of stud – a maximum of 20 studs per square decimetre of tread, with a maximum height of 20mm. The Sottozero Ice J1B, to be used by the Rally1 cars, features an asymmetric directional pattern, designed specifically for snow and icy surfaces with a total of 384 studs, with tungsten tips, with seven millimetres protruding from the tread and 13 millimetres buried in the tyre. The amount the studs protrude was decided on by the Pirelli engineers, taking into consideration all possible rally conditions from frozen hard ground to surfaces with a mix of ice and snow. To ensure the stud is as secure as possible, it is locked into place using Pirelli’s patented vulcanisation process, rather than just being inserted after the tyre is manufactured.
Rallly1 crews may use a maximum of 28 tyres, excluding the shakedown.
The Sottozero Ice J1C and WJC for the Rally2 and Junior WRC Rally3 cars respectively share some common features with the J1B, such as the studs and Pirelli's unique vulcanisation technology.
Rally2 and Junior WRC drivers can use a maximum of 26 tyres for this event, excluding the shakedown.