It is more than two years since he last participated in an event in the Swedish Championship, but this weekend, rally star Pontus Tidemand is back on home soil and makes a hyped start at the championship final in Uppsala.
Pontus, who in 2011 became the youngest Swedish rally champion ever, is now a regular in the World Rally Championship, where he now makes his second season as a works driver for SKODA Motorsport in the WRC 2 class. A few events remain and Pontus fights for a top spot in the championship. But despite his international success, he has missed to race in front of his home crowd in the national series – after all, this is where it all began.
When the WRC rally in China got cancelled, Pontus all of a sudden found himself with a gap in his intense schedule and saw a chance to compete on Swedish soil. The support from Tätab’s Tommy Andersson and serveral local partners, made it possible for him and co-driver Jonas Andersson to enter this weekend’s Rally Uppsala. They are behind the wheel of Toni Gardemeister and his team TSG’s SKODA Fabia R5, the same kind of car that they drive in the WRC.
“I’m really looking forward to this, it will be massively fun” said Pontus. “We have been working hard to make it all come together, but it is definitely worth it. I have my partners to thank for this and it means a lot to me to be able to give something back to everyone that supports me from Sweden, both partners and fans. This is for them.”
Next on the schedule is the Spanish WRC round in mid October and Pontus also sees Rally Uppsala as a great way to get some extra practice.
“All driving is valuable and now that we missed out on an event, it is very positive to be able to do something like this while waiting for the next WRC rally. The level is high in the Swedish championship and I doubt there will be any holding back this weekend. We will be challenged so we need to switch on competitive mode from start” said Pontus.
Rally Uppsala is the season finale of this year’s Swedish rally championship and takes place on Friday and Saturday. It includes a total of approximately 367 km, of which 104 km are divided into 11 special stages.