Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team come into the second round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Sweden, looking to secure their first win of the season. The event has traditionally favoured Nordic competitors due to it’s specialised nature and Citroen have been searching for a win here since 2004.
Their best chance of victory may lie in driver Mads Ostberg. The Norwegian continued his preparation for the event with victory on Rally Finnskog in his native country of Norway.
The event, which is a round of the Norwegian Rally Championship, was seen as the perfect warm up for Sweden as it was held in similar conditions.
Ostberg, along with co-driver Jonas Andersson, led the event from the start in his Citroen DS3 WRC and won the even by 57.8 seconds from fellow Norwegian Eyvind Brynildsen.
“We were able to drive on long stages of more than twenty or thirty kilometres, all in the same region as the stages we’ll be tackling on Friday.” said Osberg “The conditions were also perfect with excellent weather, a good layer of ice and -10°C in the morning. This rally has helped confirm the good tests we did. Above all, it was important to win. It’s a real confidence boost just a few days before the big event gets underway at Rally Sweden!”
The Norwegian has a successful history on Rally Sweden having finished on the podium four times in the last five years.
Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle will tackle the event in the other DS3 WRC and come into the rally having only competed on it on one previous occasion. The pair set some competitive times considering their lack of experience on the event .
“I really enjoyed my first outing in Sweden in 2014.” said Meeke “The conditions weren’t perfect as we had fairly high temperatures, but it was still great to drive on these roads. You always have fun in conditions like these! However, as this is the only event on the calendar to be contested on snow, you need several years to acquire enough experience to be able to fight at the front.”
The event kicks off on Thursday night with the traditional super special stage Karlstad trotting track.