Thu 09 Feb 2023

ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia set for lift-off with Karlstad base and Colin’s Crest

Momentum is building in the all-new ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia after outline details were presented to media assembled at Rally Sweden earlier today.

Taking place from 6 - 8 July on high-speed gravel stages in Sweden’s picturesque Värmland region, the event will be based in the city of Karlstad and is set to conclude with a charge through the famous Colin’s Crest as the rally-deciding Power Stage, which will be broadcast live online and on television around the world.

Oliver Solberg, the 2020 FIA Junior ERC champion and a contender for WRC2 honours on the FIA World Rally Championship-counting Rally Sweden this weekend, is planning to contest his home event with a long list of drivers from Scandinavia and beyond set to battle Petter Solberg’s son for glory.

Glenn Olsson, the event CEO, pictured right, explained why ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia is not to be missed.

“The event is going to be based in Karlstad and we are planning to do the Power Stage on Colin’s Crest,” Olsson said. “Of course all the details can’t be published about the route but the rally will take place around Karlstad where Rally Sweden used to be based, with stages close to Karlstad. The rally will be 50 per cent festival and 50 per cent rally. We’re going to try to attract the traditional fan base around Värmland. We have a really good feeling the drivers are going to want to come to drive and we’re really looking forward to this.”

Olsson, who played a key role in the ensuring the ongoing success of Rally Sweden in a previous position, added: “We hope for beautiful summer days and summer evenings with nice warm weather and a great atmosphere out in the forests. We have been struggling with the [right] winter [conditions] for many years [for Rally Sweden] and we always said we’re longing to do an event in the summertime and now we can actually do it.”

Roger Engström, President of Swedish ASN Svenska Bilsportförbundet, pictured centre, said: “This event is very important to us and it’s great to be able to host two big events in Sweden, a country with a great history of rallying. There is a big history in Värmland for snow rallies and we’re looking forward to seeing a rally on gravel during a warm period. For all the volunteers and officials this will make it much easier.”

Simon Larkin, Senior Director of Events at WRC Promoter, the ERC promoter, pictured left, said: “We’ve found a fantastic new home in Umeå for the WRC but Värmland was a fantastic host for us for many years and it’s great we can keep the knowledge, experience and the fanbase in Värmland for the European Rally Championship.

“When we took over the ERC in 2022 we very much wanted to branch out and widen its scope across Europe. To have an event we believe covers both Scandinavia and the Nordic countries we hope encourages more competitors from those regions to look at doing, if not the whole championship, then three or four events. We’ve already seen that with the current Finnish champion, Mikko Heikkilä, deciding to step up to a full ERC campaign and we hope that happens with more drivers from the region.”

Oliver Solberg on Royal Rally of Scandinavia
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