Todt declares snow-less Sweden won’t be repeated

FIA president makes clear there have to be changes

Rally Sweden

FIA president Jean Todt has told DirtFish there will be no repeat of this week’s snow-less Rally Sweden.

Todt was quick to praise the efforts of the organisers of the Torsby-based event, but made it clear a similar situation will not be tolerated.

Temperatures rose through the second round of the 2020 World Rally Championship and remained well above freezing throughout Saturday.

Sunday’s first run at the Likenäs test was cancelled in an effort to maintain the road surface for the powerstage.


Todt told DirtFish: “One of the reasons I’m here is to demonstrate my solidarity with the organizers who have put so much effort in, due to the circumstances, to host this rally.

“Until a few days ago we did not know if we could have the rally or not. Thanks to the effort from the organizers, the promoter, the FIA and teams we have been able to have it.”

Todt added all stakeholders in the series needed to shoulder some of the responsibility for not safeguarding the WRC’s winter round.

He added: “The only thing, I blame all of us. We should have anticipated it two or three years ago. I know this can happen.

“Clearly the Swedish Rally, the way it is, it has to be on snow.

Jean Todt
I say it will not happen again. We will wait for proposals Jean Todt

“Since a few years now there is not the snow we used to expect and to love for such a rally. We know we are facing global warming of the planet – this is why we put so much attention on the environment because of the consequences of the climate change.

“Saying that, I’m sure everybody has learned from this experience.

“The important thing is that the rally is on [this week] and this will not happen again.

“We will make sure [it will not happen again] and this is something we have been discussing already with the organizers and our promoter that we are going to take measures to ensure continuity with the Swedish Rally, but taking into account this experience.”

Asked for further details of his meetings with the organizers, he said: “It’s a work in progress, I say it will not happen again. We will wait for proposals.”

While Todt confirmed Sweden’s calendar slot was secured for next year, his comments also offer tacit approval of a move north and out of Torsby.

WRC Promoter CEO Oliver Ciesla said his team would be working with Rally Sweden chief Glenn Olsson on finding a solution.

Ciesla told DirtFish: “The challenge we have now is to make sure when we want a snow rally we can securely plan it will be a snow rally.

“That’s not so easy today – it’s not as simple to say: ‘Go to Canada, go to Russia’. We cannot do that in 12 months.

“I don’t have the answer, but this will be the job of the next six months to find out what we can do.”

Words:David Evans