Rally Sweden, the second stage of the 2020 WRC championship, runs this weekend on a shortened circuit, required due to a lack of snow.
Estonian driver and defending world champion Ott Tänak finished fifth on Thursday evening's opening stage, a 1.9-kilometer test run also affected by scant snowfall, ERR's sports portal reports.
Rally Sweden is unique in being the only race in the calendar to be run on snow; international motorsport governing body the FIA had been weighing-up canceling the race altogether. This has only happened once, in 1990, in the rally's near 70-year history.
#WRC DAY1 #RallySweden include 4 stages with Norway and Sweden (63.68kms). Startlist = Neuville Ogier Evans Lappi Rovanperä Suninen Katsuta Tänak Latvala Breen— Planetemarcus (@planetemarcus) February 14, 2020
???? Timetable ► https://t.co/CKnyLuCPdM pic.twitter.com/rNPOaZExgK
Kalle Rovanperä (Finland) finished first in Thursday evening's stage, with Sebastien Ogier (France) second. Both drive for Toyota, six-time world champion Ogier effectively replacing Tänak when he left for Hyundai just after clinching the world title with Estonian co-driver Martin Järveoja.
Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota) and Irishman Craig Breen (Hyundai) were third and fourth.
Only three teams, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, M-Sport Ford WRT and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT are eligible for manufacturer's points this season, after Citroen pulled out at the end of the 2019 season.
The rally continues on Friday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte