(Det talade ordet gäller)
Ladies and gentlemen, friends from abroad: A warm welcome to Rally Sweden and Värmland!
I am very happy to be here in Karlstad to open Rally Sweden. This competition is one of the biggest sports events in Sweden.
It will have a live audience of at least two hundred thousand people – and will be followed by millions of TV-viewers globally.
Rally Sweden is a very tough race, and I am looking forward to see all the talented drivers and co-drivers perform on the difficult roads in Sweden and Norway.
Rally Sweden is truly an international and welcoming public event. And the competition is seen by people of all ages.
As for myself, I remember when I was a young boy and for the first time came with my father to the deep forests of Värmland to look at Rally Sweden.
It was, in fact, right here that my own interest in motor sports started.
Today, motor sport is one of my biggest passions.
Last year I was a pace driver in the classic rally and since the last six years I have been racing in the STCC. I know what it takes.
Even though I make no claim to compare myself with those who compete in Rally Sweden, I do have some understanding of what it takes – physically and mentally. How much courage and endurance it demands of them.
I look forward to a very exciting race with all you fantastic drivers and teams. For example we have Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.
And I am especially happy that one of the Swedish drivers in the line-up is from Värmland – Pontus Tidemand.
I wish all the drivers good luck in the competition – may the best team and driver win.
And now, ladies and gentlemen – I declare Rally Sweden open!