Rally Sørland, which is a part of the Norwegian Championship, kicks off this weekend. Pontus Tidemand and Ola Fløene will participate in a Ford Fiesta R2 and even though they see it as preparation for upcoming JWRC rallies, they are hoping for a successful weekend with another bunch of kilometers behind the wheel.
Rally Sørland takes place in southern Norway and the service area is located in Mandal, Norway’s southernmost city. During two days, Friday and Saturday, ten special stages of a total of nearly 140 km will be driven. The longest stage is 31.1 km and the shortest is the opening stage of 3.5 km. The rally also includes a spectator stage, Jåbekk Spesial, which will be driven two times on Saturday and the second time will mark the final stage of the rally. The first car is expected to cross the finish line around 4.30 pm on Saturday afternoon.
Pontus and co-driver Ola Fløene will, with support from EVEN Management, participate in Team Tätab’s Ford Fiesta R2, the same kind of car that Pontus drives in JWRC, and he looks at this weekend’s rally mainly as practise and preparation for the next international rally, which takes place in Greece in the end of May.
“We’ll drive Rally Sørland primarily as preparation and practise for what’s to come in JWRC. Of course you always want to win your class and that’s always the goal, but the pressure is not really there”, says Pontus.
Other competitors in the same class are Marius Aasen, who also are competing against Pontus in this year’s JWRC, and Fredrik Åhlin, who, just like Pontus, took part in last year’s WRC Academy.
During the past week, Pontus has had a combined PR and test day in Stockholm, where he got to try out the car and do some setup tests for the weekend.
“It was the first time I drove this particular car, so I’m glad that I could do a few setup tests. The plan is to drive this car as much as possible in between the JWRC races to build experience and maximize the opportunities”, says Pontus.
Pontus and Ola are also signed up for the next rally in the Swedish Championship, South Swedish Rally, in the middle of May with the above mentioned Ford Fiesta R2. That will offer even more practise prior to Rally Acropolis in the end of the same month.
Follow this weekend’s rally live here.
Time schedule Rally Sørland 2013
Friday 26 April
|SS1||Skoieheia – 3.5 km||19:16|
|SS2||Trånehøyda – 12.7 km||19:36|
|SS3||Årstøl – 17.2 km||20:18|
Saturday 27 April
|SS4||Solås – 31.1 km||10:21|
|SS5||Gumpens Auto – 19.68 km||11:18|
|SS6||Steinsland – 11.48 km||12:05|
|SS7||Jåbekk Spesial 1 – 4.7 km||13:03|
|SS8||Høye – 9.1 km||15:02|
|SS9||Lindland – 25.3 km||15:21|
|SS10||Jåbekk Spesial 2 – 4.7 km||16:32|