Lack of snow forces Rally Sweden to shorten course for WRC event

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The Swedish round of the world rally championship will go ahead on Feb. 13 over a shortened course due to an unusually mild winter and a lack of snow, organizers Rally Sweden said on Wednesday.

Amid worries about global warming, temperatures in parts of Sweden have been up to 10 degrees Celsius over the normal average for January, according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, and little snow has fallen except in the far north.

On Tuesday, the sport's governing body the FIA inspected the proposed course for Rally Sweden, which takes place in the Varmland region and across the border in Norway during its four-day schedule, with the organizers deciding to leave out certain sections.

"The new timetable will feature about 180km of spectacular speed tests and full championship points will be awarded," the organizers said in a statement.

Last year's rally, won by Estonia's Ott Tanak, covered around 315 kilometres.

The rally was cancelled in 1990 and shortened in 2016, on both occasions due to mild weather.

Previous winners include rally legends such as Sweden's Stig Blomqvist, Finns Hannu Mikkola and Juha Kankkunen, and Frenchman Sebastien Loeb. 

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