Every year, the World Rally Championship’s trip to Sweden is a real treat. This year, it’s back to its usual Hoth-like form, covered in glorious snow and ice that allows the cars’ studded tires to reach ludicrous speeds on the stages. Let’s gaze in awe at the jumps from this year’s Rally Sweden—including the mega-jump known as Colin’s Crest.
Rally Sweden is one of the fastest rallies on the WRC schedule, and more speed means epic jumps. Stage 12 actually had to be canceled this year after the FIA analyzed the speeds from Stage 9 and went “nope.” The stages they have run, however, have been truly epic.
There’s always some debate as to whether it’s better to jump farther or not with big rally jumps. On one hand, you can’t accelerate if you’re in the air with your wheels spinning into nothing, thus doing nothing to propel you forward. On the other hand, not going balls-out over the jump often means you have to sacrifice some speed on entry. But man, do the fans ever appreciate it when you jump long and high.
Rally Sweden’s most infamous jump was today: Colin’s Crest.
The distance record on Colin’s Crest has been smashed every year for a few years now, but today’s farthest jump by Mads Østberg in a Ford Fiesta WRC car merely tied Thierry Neuville’s since-broken 2015 record: 44 meters, or approximately 144 feet. Østberg went 42 meters on the first trip through Colin’s Crest on Stage 11, and 44 meters on the second run through on Stage 14.
There was a lot of curiosity as to whether the new-for-2017 cars would go farther, as there’s more downforce sucking them to the ground, but also more power to propel them forwards. Now we know: 2016’s record set by Eyvind Brynildsen in a lower-class, less-aero-dependent WRC2 Ford Fiesta R5 remains (for now).
Østberg is convinced he could have flown farther, though.
“I missed the final corner before the crest and lost speed,” he tweeted after the jump.
Meanwhile, the man whose jump record Østberg tied—Neuville—is not having a good day. After ending yesterday with the lead, he crashed out from said lead on Stage 15, hitting a concrete block, losing a wheel and breaking his car’s steering. Ouch! Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala ends today in the lead.