The wait has been long for Pontus Tidemand but now it’s time… he is back in a brand new Škoda Fabia together with the German team Toksport WRT and is fully charged to take on the 2020 Rally Sweden.
His last race was in Wales Rally GB in a WRC car from M-Sport where he finished in seventh place. He now heads back to WRC2, the class where he became world champion 2017 and is back in a similar car to the one he claimed the championship with.
“It feels very good, this is a car I enjoy, know well and have had a lot of success with, although I have not competed with this newest Škoda Fabia R5 Evo until now.” Tidemand said.
“However, I have been involved in development testing a lot and being back in the WRC2, I only see it as positive thing at the moment. We will get really tough resistance and the competition is at least as tough as in the WRC class.”
“But here I feel that we can join in the war from the beginning and the fact that Rally Sweden is my absolute favorite competition with the home fans who cheer on the roads, that makes it enjoyable even more.”
“Training is a fresh product, even when it comes to rallying, and I know that several of our competitors have tested and driven more than we have ever imagined. But at the same time I want to think that there is a bit in the bone marrow as well and that it is quick to get warm in the clothes again.” Tidemand continued.
“We had a good first test day. Everything feels great with the car and the team is very professional. We will test a little more on Wednesday, hopefully it freezes a little more until then, and that should mean that we have gone over the conditions that it is likely to be during the rally.”
The mild weather has created problems for Rally Sweden and this year’s edition will be in a somewhat abbreviated format with 180 kilometres instead of the 300 that was originally planned. Tidemand predicts that there will be an intense competition with a full attack from the beginning.
“In the shorter version, it becomes more like a sprint rally where everyone has a rough pace from the start. There are fast roads in themselves and without snowfalls, you can enjoy a lot and get an incredible speed.”
“The organizers have done a fantastic job for it to actually become a competition and I bet that the party will be just as big as usual. We will do our utmost to fight for a good result for the home crowd. During these months without competitions, I have been able to build up a real hunger so now the attack applies.” Tidemand added.