Mon 26 Jun 2023

Ostberg getting ready to fly at 'home' in ERC

Having rallied in Portugal, Canary Islands, Poland and Latvia so far in 2023, Mads Østberg will get the chance to compete at ‘home’ in the FIA European Rally Championship next month.

The Norwegian is gearing up to contest the inaugural BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia, which will run out of the Swedish city of Karlstad, two hours across the border from his Norwegian base, from 6 - 8 July.

Once home to Sweden’s FIA World Rally Championship counter when it ran as a winter event until as recently as 2020, the all-new competition uses high-speed gravel stages free of snow and ice and represents unchartered territory for the ERC contenders.

“My co-driver [Patrik Barth] is Swedish so it’s his home event at least but it’s a place I have many great memories from so I look forward to doing the stages in the summertime,” said the MRF Tyres Dealer Team driver. “Okay, not all of them will be classic Swedish Rally stages but it’s nice to be back in Karlstad and I think it’s going to be an amazing experience.

“I expect the stages will be very good, a bit like Finland but without all the jumps. But obviously I don’t know for sure and I don’t have experience of these roads in the summer so I am only used to snowbanks and an ice surface.”

Østberg will line up for BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia fresh from his third-place finish on Tet Rally Liepāja earlier this month at the wheel of a Citroën C3 Rally2.

“It was good to be back on the podium and in many ways we were competitive when sometimes we are not,” said Østberg, who is third in the provisional ERC standings after four rounds. “We still have work to do but there were positives and now I need to think before we go to Sweden to see because there are some things we need to do differently. We’ve tried a lot since Poland, we are moving in the right way, but we have to continue our development to see if we can find some more [speed] because we have to if we want to fight for the top in Sweden.”

Ticket details and other event information is available here:

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM