At best, this is a winter wonderland; a rally touched by absolute magic. Cars balance on a 100mph knife edge, with their survival dependent entirely on 1536 tungsten studs divided equally between four tires. Watching a well driven World Rally Car in perfect conditions is a sight to behold. It’s poetry.
At worst, this is a mild-wintered puddle-fest with the stunning bright white resprayed a dirty brown. The biggest challenge now is keeping as many of those 1536 studs in the tires as the crews ride over gravel emerging from not-so-permafrost. The organizers moved the rally north to Torsby in an effort to chase more chill, but the best bet for snowy conditions remains over the border in Norway, where the event now traditionally spends its opening day. Year on year, it’s a meteorological gamble. But when it’s good, it’s great.