Not only will they be competing in their first World Rally Championship event together, but it will also be in a new car on a new surface.

The Toni Gardemeister Services (TGS) Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo that they’ll be driving will be new for Rullo, who has recently driven a rival Rally2 car, a Hyundai, in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) throughout 2023.

An opportunity to compete on the only snow rally of the WRC was made possible by Rullo’s sponsors IntelliSpatial, Fleetcare, Utility Mapping, Leica Geosystems, RIEGL and Fuchs – partners that support the team in their ARC campaigns as well.

Rullo hasn’t competed on the snow surface which is a feature of Rally Sweden, while co-driver Ben Searcy has never seen snow.

It will be quite the change to the hot, rough gravel they last saw at the Rally of Canberra at the end of November.

The challenge of the gravel Rullo saw in 2023 was something that he enjoyed.

Peter Rullo during the 2023 ARC season.

“With the limited tarmac events currently in Australia, jumping into a Rally2 car in the ARC was an amazing opportunity,” he said.

“Gravel rallies bring us right into the thick of it with less room for error. There is nothing like throwing the car into a corner sideways and it is so bloody satisfying when you nail it.

“From what I’ve seen, I can’t wait to pilot one of these Rally2 machines around in the snow. I don’t know why I didn’t give it a crack earlier!”

Co-driver Searcy is an Australian and Asia-Pacific Rally Champion but the snow will be a new challenge.

“I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to do a new and challenging WRC rally. I’ve never seen snow before so it will be a huge experience. Partnering with Peter again will be great and we’re looking forward to a solid finish,” he said.

The Rullo/Searcy team will be competing at Rally Sweden alongside fellow Australians Taylor Gill and Dan Brkic, who’ll be competing as part of the Junior World Rally Championship.

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Luke Whitten

Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.
Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.

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