Pontus Tidemand’s guide to Rally Sweden 2014

The Swedish rally driver gives us the ins and outs of his local event.

Swedish rally driver Pontus Tidemand gives Redbull.com his guide to Rally Sweden 2014
Pontus Tidemand's Rally Sweden 2014 guide© Andre Lavadinho

This week, 23-year-old Swedish rally driver Pontus Tidemand will make his third outing at Rally Sweden, behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RS WRC – an identical car to the one his stepfather, Henning Solberg, will also be competing in.

Ahead of the start of the rally on February 5, Pontus took some time to talk Redbull.com around his local event…

Pontus Tidemand: Rally Sweden takes place in the Varmland region of the country…

"Varmland is mostly known for its rich nature. We've got big forests and many lakes, among them Sweden's biggest lake, Vanern, in the south. Tourists often come here for activities like hiking, camping and fishing in the summertime and skiing – or to experience Rally Sweden – in the wintertime."

The fastest stage at Rally Sweden is probably Rammen…

"As for my favourite, every stage has something spectacular so it's difficult to pick just one. But whatever stage you watch, you won't be disappointed. This year also offers two new stages and I'm excited to see what they will bring."

Swedish rally driver Pontus Tidemand gives Redbull.com his guide to Rally Sweden 2014. Here, he jumps over Colin's Crest in 2013.
Pontus jumps over Colin's Crest in 2013© McKlein Image Database

The Colin's Crest jump is probably one of the most well-known spectator spots at Rally Sweden…

"There are thousands of spectators every year. You can easily jump nearly 40 metres, but you have to hit the jump right if you don't want to land in a ditch. Colin's Crest is sort of Rally Sweden's memorial for Colin McRae. This was his first WRC rally, I think it was 1987, and this particular crest gave him a few flights to remember. My current record over the jump is 32 metres, but who knows – maybe I'll break it soon..."

Visitors to Rally Sweden should definitely try "husmanskost"…

"That basically just means Swedish cuisine, which consists of our classic dishes like the famous meatballs or other kinds of meat or fish. As for drinking, Absolut Vodka is definitely the most Swedish thing when it comes to alcohol. A great start for mixing a good drink!"

Any non-Scandinavian visitors renting a car should remember not to get too inspired by the rally…

"Slow down and brake way earlier. And eyes on the road! That's probably the best advice I can give."

Swedish rally driver Pontus Tidemand gives Redbull.com his guide to Rally Sweden 2014. Here a historic Escort MK2 entertains the fans
Pontus loves the historic Escorts – and the fans! © McKlein Image Database

Rally Sweden was a highlight every year when I was a kid…

"The thing that I remember the most is the atmosphere. Rally Sweden has and has always had the best atmosphere you can ever imagine."

A skidoo is very useful to get fast from one point to another at Rally Sweden…

"Just remember that you aren't allowed to drive it everywhere and you must be 100% sober when using a skidoo!"

The typical Swedish rally fan is…

"Enthusiastic! No matter how bad the weather is, Swedish rally fans are always on top of their game. Like on Rally Sweden, the cold is never a problem. They just make a fire and have a barbeque while waiting for the cars. And if they're really hardcore fans, they don't think twice about going to other countries to support as well…"

Don’t miss out on the historic rally at Rally Sweden…

"Most of the drivers are legends who drove very fast in their day, so they’ll be in attack mode for sure! My personal favourites among the historic cars are the Volvo 240s, Ford Escorts and Audi Quattros."

When the rally goes into Norway, the route goes right past my step-uncle, Petter Solberg’s house…

"He brings the party wherever he goes, so I think there’ll definitely be a good one there – although he'll be busy driving in the historic rally!"

My goal on this rally is to beat my stepdad, Henning Solberg…

"But at the same time he is the one that I wish the most luck to in the event!"

Stay tuned to Redbull.com's Rally section for more news and features from Rally Sweden 2014