After a few low-snow rallies in Värmland, Sweden decided to relocate their event higher North, to Umeå, where snow should be guaranteed in February. Thus, it’s a new rally for everyone. The character of the roads is now slightly different – the straights are longer, narrow houseyards more frequent, forest paths smaller and spectator-designated sections fewer. The whole rally could have a very high average speed depending on the conditions. There’s little footage available but this preview still says something about each stage.
Cover photo by Tapio Lehtonen / Rallirinki (C)
Maps @ rally-maps.com
There is no rally-opening super special. Thus the Klabböle shakedown is the only action we get during the day. This 6 km stage driven on forest roads ranging from medium to narrow, but it’s still super fast. There’s three junction turns but apart from those it’s pretty much just flat out. The technical sections or wide roads of the rally are not represented at all.
SS1+4 Kroksjö starts on medium wide and medium technical forest roads. The junction turns however are quite surprising. 6.3 km into the stage there’s a hyper fast link on a wide and straight road. The following street view shows the following very tight left turn onto a very small track.
The trees are close to the track and it’s sinuous for about 2.5 km. After that it’s again wider, faster and flowing.
SS2+5 Kamsjön is the longest stage of the rally at 27.8 km. It begins on a bumpy but super fast forest road leading to a wind farm, where the road becomes smoother and wider with a couple of tighter turns. At 6.7 km there’s a turn onto the main road, which is very very straight and hyper fast, apart from one more technical detour to the other side of the wind farm. At 12.7 km the stage turns onto smaller roads, but still similarly straight and fast, although bumpiness increases from 14.4 km onwards. It’s not until 19 km that we start getting some technical sections – an especially nice part at the very end of the stage – but still mixed in with long straights. This could well be the fastest stage of the rally.
SS3+6 Sävar is mostly driven on a road called Gamla Kustlandvägen that was the main way along the Swedish East coast since the middle ages and was later replaced by E4 which runs close by. This old horse riding trail is medium wide but trees close to the road make it appear narrower. It’s semi-technical but still quite fast. 6.4 km into the stage there’s a detour consisting of two very fast roads, the first narrower and the second wider. All in all this is a very fast stage. The start is at 0:33 into this onboard.
SS7 Umeå sprint is closest to a super special that the rally has to offer. It’s situated on an old military area, similarly to the I2 and I11 stages of the past (in fact, this area would be numbered I20 – maybe Hyundai would have had to pay something to get that stage title into use!). The route is very angular with most corners being either flat or junction turns. The ending has an artificial spectator-friendly section on a disc golf park area with an artificial jump, likely the only jump in the whole rally.
SS8+12 Brattby is run completely on quite narrow narrow forest roads. The 2022 stage starts at 1:03 on the video and continues until 3:59 on the video, where this year’s stage will turn right instead of left. Ekström’s average speed on this section is 94 km/h. This is very technical for this rally, but the ending not seen on this video is less technical with faster passages and fewer tight corners.
SS9+13 Örträsk !was cancelled!
the longest stage of the day at 20 km, and second of the two stages to exceed the 20 km mark. It resembles Värmland a lot. Most of the stage is quite wide, fast-flowing, rolling over crests. There is a small detour into a houseyard at 8.2 km to break the flow. Also,the ending is technical involving narrower forest roads, farmyards and junctions as well as an additional chicane around the garage at 7:46. Ekström’s average speed for this stage is 122.5 km/h.
SS10+14 Långed starts out on a fast medium wide forest road which soon turns into a narrow and bumpy track, and then back into a very fast forest road.
8.6 km into the stage stage the route turns to go through a farm, narrowly between many buildings and over a field. In this street view the stage comes towards the camera from said farm and turns left (onto right of the camera).
After the farm part there’s a wider and nicely fast-flowing section. After 13 km the rest of the stage is just narrower but very fast – just straights, flat corners or 90 degree turns.
SS11+15 Umeå is an extended version of Friday’s stage with just a longer beginning. However, it doesn’t change the nature of the stage much. There’s long straights and junctions and the spectator area at the end, that’s it. It also uses a tunnel to go below a main road.
SS16+18 Vindeln is driven completely on quite narrow forestry roads. There’s long straights and flat corners, and especially very long flat corners. Only a handful of tighter turns – one of them on a gravel pit – require lower gears on this very fast stage, which could as well be the fastest of the whole rally.
SS17+19 Sarsjöliden acts as the power stage. Most of the stage is very fast and quite wide, especially the first 4.7 km and the last 5.3 km. Between them there’s two smaller and more technical roads as well as a couple of narrow houseyards and tight junction turns all along the stage. Also note that the narrow forest section on the video from 4:32 to 5:39 is omitted and is replaced by a straight road! If we omit this loop and calculate the average speed for Ekström, it’s 118.5 km/h.
EDIT 1.2.2022: Replaced Rally Vännas onboards from Mattias Ekström’s channel (better quality) and calculated average speeds from them
EDIT: 15.2.2022 Updated stage 1/4, 2/5, 7, 8/12, 10/14, 11/15 and 16/18 descriptions.