Drivers braced for snow and ice in Austria

"It’s very exciting"

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By Olivier Ferret

3 January 2013 - 21:16
Drivers braced for snow and ice in (...)

The 2013 FIA European Rally Championship gets underway in Austria tomorrow morning with snow and icy conditions expected.

After heavy snow coated the route of last year’s International Jännerrallye route, another wintry event was expected. But with ambient temperatures rising over the last few weeks there were fears that there would be no snow. However, leading crews are now braced for ice and overnight snow.

“From my last information the stage number three for example in the St Oswald village they have minus one degree and the whole stage is covered in snow,” said 10-time Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager. “Then it will be the same in Liebenau I guess and maybe we have more snow overnight and we will see.”

Former world champion Stig Blomqvist, who is making his annual appearance on the Freistadt-based event, said: “Sitting here now I don’t have any idea what is happening tomorrow morning. The weather now is raining here but a bit higher up is it snowing? It’s very exciting and it’s one of those rallies that you can never be sure when you sit here the night before the start what you have to expect the next day. I would prefer snow, it’s more fun for everybody.”

Last year’s winner Jan Kopecký added: “Hopefully it will be the same as last year but this year it will be more difficult. As Raimund said we don’t know what is coming tomorrow.”

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