A new Swedish Rally Sprint Champion will be crowned on Saturday. While waiting for his WRC 2 season premiere, Pontus Tidemand takes on the battle for the gold medal in Team Tätab’s Ford Fiesta WRC.
This weekend’s rally sprint is a part of the National Championship Week that is held in the city of Örebro. The rules are simple; a special stage of approximately 2,7 km is run once in each qualifying heat. After two qualifying heats, the crews with the ten fastest times move on to the final. In the final, the same special stage is ran twice and the total time from the two heats gives the final result.
“I like the concept” says Pontus. “It is a fun event both for drivers and spectators and the relatively compact format gives the crowd much action during the day.”
The last time Pontus, who over the past weekend was rewarded with the awards for Driver of the Year all categories, Rally driver of the Year and ‘Stora grabbars märke’, contested the National Championship Rally Sprint was in 2013 and he took the champion title after a few impressively fast heats. Now, just like in 2013, he will be behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta WRC, owned by Tommy Andersson and run by Ingemar Svensson. Pontus will have Patrik Barth in the co-driver’s seat and together they aim for gold.
“We are in the middle of our preparations for Rally Sweden and this is a perfect opportunity to get some extra explosiveness in my body, says Pontus. But I’m not going to hide the fact that I really want to win, winning is always my goal. Anything can happen on a stage this short, no matter what car you are in, and I’m sure the other drivers will offer great competition.”
The interest in the National Championship Week is large among spectators as well as media and the Swedish broadcasting channel SVT airs the rally sprint live on Saturday. The qualifying heats start at 08.20 in the morning while the finals kick off at 13.50 in the afternoon.