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Friday, March 1, 2024

Gravel Notes Podcast: WRC Sweden preview

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Two-time and reigning world champion Rovanpera is predicted to be among the many favourites so as to add to his 2022 Sweden triumph in what would be the first spherical of a partial 2024 WRC marketing campaign for the Finn.

After lacking out on a podium final yr, Toyota will arrive in Sweden decided to search out type on the high-speed snow phases and supply a response to Hyundai after Thierry Neuville scored most factors from the WRC’s new scoring format, in final month’s Monte Carlo season opener.

To help in its preparations for Sweden, Toyota tackled Arctic Rally Finland earlier this month, coming into GR Yaris automobiles for Rovanpera and title contender Elfyn Evans along with its pre-event take a look at days. Evans took the rally victory after Rovanpera suffered a technical fault whereas holding a wholesome lead.

Takamoto Katsuta will pilot the third manufacturing unit Toyota in an occasion the place the Japanese has proven flashes of tempo, whereas a fourth privately run GR Yaris will probably be pushed by Lorenzo Bertelli.

Hyundai has additionally been busily getting ready for Sweden at its Finland take a look at base. The Korean marque boasts final yr’s Sweden winner Ott Tanak in its ranks for this yr’s occasion alongside championship chief Neuville, whereas Esapekka Lappi will make his first look of 2024, driving the third i20 N.

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M-Sport ventures to Sweden following a powerful exhibiting in Monte Carlo due to spectacular performances from its new younger gun line-up of Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster, which is able to full a 9 automotive Rally1 discipline. The staff will probably be led by Malcolm Wilson this weekend with staff principal Richard Millener absent on paternity depart.

Sweden will even mark the beginning of the 2024 Junior WRC that has attracted a file 19-car discipline, together with the 4 FIA Rally Star graduates, Max Sensible/Cameron Honest, Taylor Gill/Daniel Brkic, Romet Jurgenson/Oja Siim and Jose Caparo/Esther Gutierrez.

This week Autosport WRC reporter Tom Howard is joined by rally journalist Luke Barry to debate all the important thing subjects heading into Sweden. The pair additionally delve into the historical past of Rally Sweden with the primary version of the Gravel Notes quiz.


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