The 2021 edition of the Swedish Rally Championship kicks off on Saturday. Rally Killingen is the first event on the schedule and Pontus Tidemand is excited to be back in the rally car after a long wait.
“Finally! I’m really looking forward to competing again and it feels great to start the rally season on roads not too far away from my home. Rally Killingen is a new rally for me, but I know that it’s a nice and well organized event” said Pontus.
He will be behind the wheel of a brand new SKODA Fabia EVO, running for the EKS JC team, and his co-driver for the weekend is Morten Erik Abrahamsen. Pontus regular co-driver, Patrik Barth, is a part of the organization and not allowed to participate as a contestant.
“I’m very pleased to join EKS JC this weekend. Team Principal Joel Christoffersson is a good friend of mine and I have also competed for EKS in the past, so it will be a great reunion. I haven’t driven the car before, but it’s more or less like the one I drove in the WRC 2 last year, just some new additions. Morten and I haven’t been in a car together until now, but we are familiar with each other and he is an active R5 co-driver in Norway and is experienced, and with that combination you can’t go wrong” said Pontus.
Rally Killingen consists of nine special stages, totaling slightly more than 70 kilometers, and the competition will be fierce. Among others, Pontus and Morten will be up against the reigning Swedish rally champion P-G Andersson, and they are prepared to fight for a good result.
“The stages aren’t easy, you need to really be at it to stand a chance” said Pontus. “As the first car on the road, we might have to do some cleaning but we will do our best. P-G is probably eager to defend his title and that will definitely show from start, but there are more drivers that want to mix in with the battle for the podium so this will be both fun and interesting. I think we’ll have a fantastic rally and I’m hoping to see many spectators in the forest.”
Pontus haven’t competed since the WRC season finale in Italian Monza in December 2020 and the wait to get back into a rally car has been long. At the same time he’s had a reminder of how quickly things can change in the rally business.
“I had an international programme planned for 2021. Everything was set and we were ready to make it official when unforeseen events put the plans on hold. The pandemic has done great damage to many of my loyal partner companies and continues to affect every aspect of it. But it is what it is and you just have to make new plans and look to the future. I obviously hope to be back in the WRC as soon as possible, but right now my focus is on the upcoming weekend and Rally Killingen” said Pontus.